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A Commodified World: Mapping the Limits of Capitalism

Colin C. Williams

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ISBN 10: 1842773550 / ISBN 13: 9781842773550
Published by Zed Books Ltd
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: A Commodified World: Mapping the Limits of ...

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


Late capitalism is widely assumed to involve an inevitable shift towards more and more commodified economic relations, while 'non-capitalist' activities are disappearing. This book critiques this notion. It seeks to show that a combination of new 'cultures of resistance', choices being made by the more affluent in industrialised countries, and continuing economic pressures on the poor and marginalized all constrain this tendency, or even threaten to reverse it. The author finds that, even in the advanced economies, a non-commodified realm persists that is as large as the commodified sphere and growing relative to it. He draws on extensive empirical evidence of trends and new patterns of economic activity - including changes in women's participation, differences between wealthy and poor urban areas, and between urban and rural sectors. He explores non-commodified practices of resistance. And he concludes that governments and communities, by de-coupling production and consumption from the commodified realm, could open up alternative development paths.


'This is a bold and engaging book that demonstrates the uneven progress of commodification across the so-called developed and developing worlds. Marshalling powerful evidence of the persistence of subsistence work, non-monetised and not-for-profit forms of exchange, Colin Williams challenges the 'commodification thesis'. Far from being a foregone conclusion, commodification is revealed as an incomplete and deeply contested process. 'A Commodified World' rejects the linear narrative of ever-deeper capitalist penetration, inviting readers to imagine and strive towards a future in which work is no longer defined in purely monetary terms.' --Peter Jackson, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield

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