The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism

The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism In late capitalist Western society cross ethnic cultural transactions are an inevitable daily routine Yet according to acclaimed cultural critic Rey Chow the notion of ethnicity as it is currently

  • Title: The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • Author: Rey Chow
  • ISBN: 9780231124218
  • Page: 123
  • Format: Paperback
  • In late capitalist Western society, cross ethnic cultural transactions are an inevitable daily routine Yet, according to acclaimed cultural critic Rey Chow, the notion of ethnicity as it is currently used is theoretically ambivalent, confusing, indeed self contradictory, straddling as it does an uneasy boundary between a universalist rhetoric of inclusion on the one hand,In late capitalist Western society, cross ethnic cultural transactions are an inevitable daily routine Yet, according to acclaimed cultural critic Rey Chow, the notion of ethnicity as it is currently used is theoretically ambivalent, confusing, indeed self contradictory, straddling as it does an uneasy boundary between a universalist rhetoric of inclusion on the one hand, and actual, lived experiences of violence and intolerance on the other To drastically reconceptualize ethnicity in the contemporary world, Chow proposes that it be examined in conjunction with Max Weber s famous theory about the Protestant work ethic and capitalism, which holds that secular belief in salvation often collaborates effectively with the interpellation, disciplining, and rewarding of subjects constituted by specific forms of labor The charged figure that results from such a collaboration, resonant with the economic, psychological, and spiritual implications of the word protest, is what she refers to as the protestant ethnic.Chow explores the vicissitudes of cross ethnic representational politics in a diverse range of texts across multiple genres, including the writings of Georg Lukacs, Michel Foucault, Max Weber, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Etienne Balibar, Charlotte Bronte, Garrett Hongo, John Yau, and Frantz Fanon the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Marguerite Duras, and Alain Resnais and the cartoon drawings of Larry Feign Tracing out hauntingly familiar scenarios from stereotyping and coercive mimeticism to collective narcissistic abjection, the rise of white feminist racial power, and intraethnic ressentiment, Chow articulates a series of interlocking critical dialogues that challenge readers into hitherto unimagined ways of thinking about an urgent topic.

    One thought on “The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism”

    1. I was very happy with my decision to read this book. Often, Chow provides a nuanced look at some of the theoretical aspects of the ethnic subject's cultural experience in a white liberal capitalist society. For example, in her exploration of the ethnic subject's mimetic experiences she not only accounted for the mimetic realities of a non-white cultural being navigating a white cultural context as explored by the likes of Said and Bhaba, as is typically done in critical theoretical accounts of a [...]

    2. Chow examines the notion of ethnicity as theoretically ambivalent and self-contradictory, and proposes re-reading ethnicity through Max Weber's theory about the Protestant work ethic and capitalism. Chow contends that Western Liberalism or "Liberalist cultural logic" draws on these discourses and often and ironically reinforces ethnic stereotypes and racism. Her deconstruction of the term "ethnicity" is productive and useful, but the text's central argument is sprawling and generally lacks cohes [...]

    3. Another I bought because she teaches at one of the programs that rejected me. Read about half or maybe a third of it. Liked it but had to set it aside for other things. Would like to pick back up sometime, but would probably have to start over from the beginning, since it's been so long.

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