John Urry on Capitalism - Dictionary of Arguments
Gaus I 272
Capitalism/postmodernism/Lash/Urry/West: (...) postmodernity is characterized in terms of social and economic developments that are already familiar from theorists of modernity. Characteristic in this respect is Lash and Urry's (1987)(1) theory of 'disorganized capitalism'. Their notion of disorganized capitalism refers to a series of social and - the replacement of economic developments 'Fordism' by 'post-Fordism', the internationalization of production and finance, the relative decline of manufacturing and rise of the service sector, and the related decline of the traditional working class and the rise of 'new middle classes'. Like other theorists of NSMs [New Social Movements], Lash and Urry associate these developments with the shift from the organized class politics of industrialized societies to the new politics of NSMs (1987(1): 311).
Culture: An important further consequence of these economic, social and political developments is the increasing importance of culture as a site of domination and resistance: 'domination through cultural forms takes on significance in disorganized capitalism which is comparable in importance to domination in the sphere of production itself' (1987(1): 14).
Postmodernism: What differentiates Lash and Urry most clearly as theorists of postmodernity is their distinctively postmodernist view of contemporary culture. Disorganized capitalism is associated with the 'appearance and mass distribution of a culturalideological configuration of „Postmodemism" [which] affects high culture, popular culture and the symbols and discourse of everyday life' (1987(1): 7). >Culture/Lash/Urry.
1. Lash, Scott and John Urry (1987) The End of Organized Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.
West, David 2004. „New Social Movements“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gerald F. Gaus
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004