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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Bront, 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 challengereaders into hitherto unimagined ways of thinking about an urgent topic.

Synopsis:

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 Bront?, 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.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [193]-228) and index.

Synopsis:

The notion of ethnicity as it is currently used is theoretically ambivalent, confusing, indeed self-contradictory, according to Rey Chow. To radically reconceptualize the ways ethnicity functions in capitalist society, Chow proposes that it be analyzed in conjunction with Max Weber's famous theory about the protestant work ethic, especially in terms of the economic and psychological, as well as the religious-spiritual, ramifications of the word "protest." In her reading of the politics of ethnicity, she examines a diverse set of texts, works of Foucault, Weber, Derrida, Balibar, Bront, Asian-American authors Hongo and Yau; films of Hitchcock, Duras, and Resnais; and the drawings of Hong Kong cartoonist Larry Feign.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231124218
Author:
Chow, Rey
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Ethnology
Subject:
Capitalism
Subject:
Ethnicity
Subject:
Cross-cultural orientation
Subject:
Postcolonialism
Subject:
World - Post-Colonial Studies
Subject:
Christianity - Protestanism
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - General
Subject:
Christianity - Protestant
Subject:
United States Ethnic relations.
Subject:
Capitalism -- United States.
Series Volume:
3149-125
Publication Date:
20021031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
237
Dimensions:
9.16x6.06x.60 in. .77 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Christianity » Miscellaneous Denominations

The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism New Trade Paper
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Product details 237 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231124218 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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 Bront?, 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.

"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [193]-228) and index.
"Synopsis" by , The notion of ethnicity as it is currently used is theoretically ambivalent, confusing, indeed self-contradictory, according to Rey Chow. To radically reconceptualize the ways ethnicity functions in capitalist society, Chow proposes that it be analyzed in conjunction with Max Weber's famous theory about the protestant work ethic, especially in terms of the economic and psychological, as well as the religious-spiritual, ramifications of the word "protest." In her reading of the politics of ethnicity, she examines a diverse set of texts, works of Foucault, Weber, Derrida, Balibar, Bront, Asian-American authors Hongo and Yau; films of Hitchcock, Duras, and Resnais; and the drawings of Hong Kong cartoonist Larry Feign.
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