Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: neoliberalism

25 Neoliberalism and Otherness: Convergences or Divergences?

Authors: Juliana Pereira Tigre

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In the current critical debate on the process of globalization, on the one hand, arises the accusation that neoliberalism standardizes the so-called American way of life on the cultures of the world, operating as a system of subtle domination, expropriating and incorporating the other. On the other hand, it is defended that neoliberalism begins its career of political and economic order as a sensitive conception to the otherness, imposing itself at present due to its peaceful management of pluralism and defense of individual freedom. In this sense, this paper aims to discuss the extent to which the neoliberalism and the otherness converge or diverge in contemporaneity and the guiding principles of globalization.

Keywords: otherness, globalization, neoliberalism, social sciences

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24 Tinder, Image Merchandise and Desire: The Configuration of Social Ties in Today's Neoliberalism

Authors: Daniel Alvarado Valencia

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Nowadays, the market offers us solutions for everything, creating the idea of an immediate availability of anything we could desire, and the Internet is the mean through which to obtain all this. The proposal of this conference is that this logic puts the subjects in a situation of self-exploitation, and considers the psyche as a productive force by configuring affection and desire from a neoliberal value perspective. It uses Tinder, starting from ethnographical data from Mexico City users, as an example for this. Tinder is an application created to get dates, have sexual encounters and find a partner. It works from the creation and management of a digital profile. It is an example of how futuristic and lonely the current era can be since we got used to interact with other people through screens and images. However, at the same time, it provides solutions to loneliness, since technology transgresses, invades and alters social practices in different ways. Tinder fits into this contemporary context, it is a concrete example of the processes of technification in which social bonds develop through certain devices offered by neoliberalism, through consumption, and where the search of love and courtship are possible through images and their consumption.

Keywords: desire, image, merchandise, neoliberalism

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23 Economic Neoliberalism: Property Right and Redistribution Policy

Authors: Aleksandar Savanović

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In this paper we will analyze the relationship between the neo-liberal concept of property rights and redistribution policy. This issue is back in the focus of interest due to the crisis 2008. The crisis has reaffirmed the influence of the state on the free-market processes. The interference of the state with property relations re-opened a classical question: is it legitimate to redistribute resources of a man in favor of another man with taxes? The dominant view is that the neoliberal philosophy of natural rights is incompatible with redistributive measures. In principle, this view can be accepted. However, when we look into the details of the theory of natural rights proposed by some coryphaei of neoliberal philosophy, such as Hayek, Nozick, Buchanan and Rothbard, we can see that it is not such an unequivocal view.

Keywords: economic neoliberalism, natural law, property, redistribution

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22 The Science of Successful Intimate Relationship in China: A Discourse Analytic Examination of Sex and Relationships Advice in Ayawawa’s Book

Authors: Hanlei Yang

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As a kind of popular culture in modern China, advice book on intimate relationship is turning into an important and controversial site with conflicts among neoliberalism, authoritative socialism, market-oriented principles, the science of successful sex and relationship, cosmopolitan notions of nuclear families, and the revitalization of Confucian conservatism and patriarchy. Accelerated modernization and marketization has contributed to great changes in China’s culture and social relations, which accordingly reconceptualizes and reconstructs family structures and moral ethics, particularly urban middle-class nuclear families. To comprehend the meaning of advice book fad in moral and social order, this research proposes to (i) understand the implication of Ayawawa through discourse analysis and how she mobilizes rhetorical devices and cultural resources to present a persuasive and scientific method of managing intimate relationship, (ii) examine the critical role of neoliberalism, post-feminism, and Confucian patriarchy assumed by Ayawawa in her books, (iii) explore how Ayawawa and her fans engage in establishing a model of intimate relationship and sexual subjectivity ordered by neoliberalism, class identity and authoritative socialism. Finally, this research argues that such new fad of a cultural phenomenon is gradually completed in the process of cooperation and negotiation of the state, commercial institutions, and intellectual elite agents. It helps to further learn about (i) the routine life under the influence of neoliberalism and modern hegemony, (ii) the perplexing relationship between China's indigenous cultural forms, global socio-economic and cultural influences in the late modern era.

Keywords: cultural study, intimate relationship, culture sociology, gender study

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21 Administrative Reform and the Changing Nature of Higher Education: A Lesson from Indonesian Higher Education Reforms

Authors: Nurdiana Gaus, Mahmud Tang

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This paper analyses changes being experienced by academics in Indonesian state university systems as a result of government-driven policy and the impacts of these changes on academics work and organisations. This analysis is located in the main concept of neoliberal agenda with its associated discourse of New Public Management. The purpose of this analysis is to show how public administrative reforms adopting neoliberal agenda have been disseminated in Indonesian higher education reform via policies and programmes of the government. This essay is expected to clarify the concept of neoliberalism in the administrative reforms within higher education institutions by examining and understanding its implementation in Indonesian context and how this impacted on the structural changes in universities and academics work.

Keywords: neoliberalism, higher education, Indonesia, new public management

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20 The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict: An Imperial, Neoliberal Limbo

Authors: Anna Savchenko

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The dissolution of the Soviet Union brought about a wave of decolonisation throughout the Soviet space in the 1990s. While this emancipation ushered in an era of reform in the newly independent states, it also opened up the opportunity for countries such as Ukraine to be (re)colonised by a different ruling power: the European Union. Ukraine’s relationship with the EU has been further complicated by the fact that the country’s political leadership has aligned itself with a Western agenda of democratisation. This article challenges the neoliberal belief that the global market can spurn democratisation by analysing the way in which market privatisation in Ukraine has allowed for mass corruption to flourish. I submit that neoliberalism, or the sheer force of the global market, is just as colonising as modern-day imperialism has proven to be by providing an analytical synthesis of Russia and Ukraine’s century-old conflict. The EU’s demonstrated inability to mediate cross-border conflict in the region foreshadows that Ukraine may have been economically colonised by another failing state.

Keywords: neoliberalism, imperealism, Russian-Ukrainian conflict, democratisation, colonisation

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19 The Capabilities Approach as a Future Alternative to Neoliberal Higher Education in the MENA Region

Authors: Ranya Elkhayat

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This paper aims at offering a futures study for higher education in the Middle East. Paying special attention to the negative impacts of neoliberalism, the paper will demonstrate how higher education is now commodified, corporatized and how arts and humanities are eschewed in favor of science and technology. This conceptual paper argues against the neoliberal agenda and aims at providing an alternative exemplified in the Capabilities Approach with special reference to Martha Nussbaum’s theory. The paper is divided into four main parts: the current state of higher education under neoliberal values, a prediction of the conditions of higher education in the near future, the future of higher education using the theoretical framework of the Capabilities Approach, and finally, some areas of concern regarding the approach. The implications of the study demonstrate that Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach will ensure that the values of education are preserved while avoiding the pitfalls of neoliberalism.

Keywords: capabilities approach, education future, higher education, MENA

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18 A Critique of the Neo-Liberal Model of Economic Governance and Its Application to the Electricity Market Industry: Some Lessons and Learning Points from Nigeria

Authors: Kabiru Adamu

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The Nigerian electricity industry was deregulated and privatized in 2005 and 2014 in line with global trend and practice. International and multilateral lending institutions advised developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, to adopt deregulation and privatization as part of reforms in their electricity sectors. The ideological basis of these reforms are traceable to neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is an ideology that believes in the supremacy of free market and strong non-interventionist competition law as against government ownership of the electricity market. This ideology became a state practice and a blue print for the deregulation and privatization of the electricity markets in many parts of the world. The blue print was used as a template for the privatization of the Nigerian electricity industry. In this wise, this paper, using documentary analysis and review of academic literatures, examines neoliberalism as an ideology and model of economic governance for the electricity supply industry in Nigeria. The paper examines the origin of the ideology, it features and principles and how it was used as the blue print in designing policies for electricity reforms in both developed and developing countries. The paper found out that there is gap between the ideology in theory and in practice because although the theory is rational in thinking it is difficult to be implemented in practice. The paper argues that the ideology has a mismatched effect and this has made its application in the electricity industry in many developing countries problematic and unsuccessful. In the case of Nigeria, the article argues that the template is also not working. The article concludes that the electricity sectors in Nigeria have failed to develop into competitive market for the benefit of consumers in line with the assumptions and promises of the ideology. The paper therefore recommends the democratization of the electricity sectors in Nigeria through a new system of public ownership as the solution to the failure of the neoliberal policies; but this requires the design of a more democratic and participatory system of ownership with communities and state governments in charge of the administration, running and operation of the sector.

Keywords: electricity, energy governance, neo-liberalism, regulation

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17 Disaster Capitalism, Charter Schools, and the Reproduction of Inequality in Poor, Disabled Students: An Ethnographic Case Study

Authors: Sylvia Mac

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This ethnographic case study examines disaster capitalism, neoliberal market-based school reforms, and disability through the lens of Disability Studies in Education. More specifically, it explores neoliberalism and special education at a small, urban charter school in a large city in California and the (re)production of social inequality. The study uses Sociology of Special Education to examine the ways in which special education is used to sort and stratify disabled students. At a time when rhetoric surrounding public schools is framed in catastrophic and dismal language in order to justify the privatization of public education, small urban charter schools must be examined to learn if they are living up to their promise or acting as another way to maintain economic and racial segregation. The study concludes that neoliberal contexts threaten successful inclusive education and normalize poor, disabled students’ continued low achievement and poor post-secondary outcomes. This ethnographic case study took place at a small urban charter school in a large city in California. Participants included three special education students, the special education teacher, the special education assistant, a regular education teacher, and the two founders and charter writers. The school claimed to have a push-in model of special education where all special education students were fully included in the general education classroom. Although presented as fully inclusive, some special education students also attended a pull-out class called Study Skills. The study found that inclusion and neoliberalism are differing ideologies that cannot co-exist. Successful inclusive environments cannot thrive while under the influences of neoliberal education policies such as efficiency and cost-cutting. Additionally, the push for students to join the global knowledge economy means that more and more low attainers are further marginalized and kept in poverty. At this school, neoliberal ideology eclipsed the promise of inclusive education for special education students. This case study has shown the need for inclusive education to be interrogated through lenses that consider macro factors, such as neoliberal ideology in public education, as well as the emerging global knowledge economy and increasing income inequality. Barriers to inclusion inside the school, such as teachers’ attitudes, teacher preparedness, and school infrastructure paint only part of the picture. Inclusive education is also threatened by neoliberal ideology that shifts the responsibility from the state to the individual. This ideology is dangerous because it reifies the stereotypes of disabled students as lazy, needs drains on already dwindling budgets. If these stereotypes persist, inclusive education will have a difficult time succeeding. In order to more fully examine the ways in which inclusive education can become truly emancipatory, we need more analysis on the relationship between neoliberalism, disability, and special education.

Keywords: case study, disaster capitalism, inclusive education, neoliberalism

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16 Embodied Neoliberalism and the Mind as Tool to Manage the Body: A Descriptive Study Applied to Young Australian Amateur Athletes

Authors: Alicia Ettlin

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Amid the rise of neoliberalism to the leading economic policy model in Western societies in the 1980s, people have started to internalise a neoliberal way of thinking, whereby the human body has become an entity that can and needs to be precisely managed through free yet rational decision-making processes. The neoliberal citizen has consequently become an entrepreneur of the self who is free, independent, rational, productive and responsible for themselves, their health and wellbeing as well as their appearance. The focus on individuals as entrepreneurs who manage their bodies through the rationally thinking mind has, however, become increasingly criticised for viewing the social actor as ‘disembodied’, as a detached, social actor whose powerful mind governs over the passive body. On the other hand, the discourse around embodiment seeks to connect rational decision-making processes to the dominant neoliberal discourse which creates an embodied understanding that the body, just as other areas of people’s lives, can and should be shaped, monitored and managed through cognitive and rational thinking. This perspective offers an understanding of the body regarding its connections with the social environment that reaches beyond the debates around mind-body binary thinking. Hence, following this argument, body management should not be thought of as either solely guided by embodied discourses nor as merely falling into a mind-body dualism, but rather, simultaneously and inseparably as both at once. The descriptive, qualitative analysis of semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with young Australian amateur athletes between the age of 18 and 24 has shown that most participants are interested in measuring and managing their body to create self-knowledge and self-improvement. The participants thereby connected self-improvement to weight loss, muscle gain or simply staying fit and healthy. Self-knowledge refers to body measurements including weight, BMI or body fat percentage. Self-management and self-knowledge that are reliant on one another to take rational and well-thought-out decisions, are both characteristic values of the neoliberal doctrine. A neoliberal way of thinking and looking after the body has also by many been connected to rewarding themselves for their discipline, hard work or achievement of specific body management goals (e.g. eating chocolate for reaching the daily step count goal). A few participants, however, have shown resistance against these neoliberal values, and in particular, against the precise monitoring and management of the body with the help of self-tracking devices. Ultimately, however, it seems that most participants have internalised the dominant discourses around self-responsibility, and by association, a sense of duty to discipline their body in normative ways. Even those who have indicated their resistance against body work and body management practices that follow neoliberal thinking and measurement systems, are aware and have internalised the concept of the rational operating mind that needs or should decide how to look after the body in terms of health but also appearance ideals. The discussion around the collected data thereby shows that embodiment and the mind/body dualism constitute two connected, rather than two separate or opposing concepts.

Keywords: dualism, embodiment, mind, neoliberalism

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15 Foucault and Governmentality: International Organizations and State Power

Authors: Sara Dragisic

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Using the theoretical analysis of the birth of biopolitics that Foucault performed through the history of liberalism and neoliberalism, in this paper we will try to show how, precisely through problematizing the role of international institutions, the model of governance differs from previous ways of objectifying body and life. Are the state and its mechanisms still a Leviathan to fight against, or can it be even the driver of resistance against the proponents of modern governance and the biopolitical power? Do paradigmatic examples of biopolitics still appear through sovereignty and (international) law, or is it precisely this sphere that shows a significant dose of incompetence and powerlessness in relation to, not only the economic sphere (Foucault’s critique of neoliberalism) but also the new politics of freedom? Have the struggle for freedom and human rights, as well as the war on terrorism, opened a new spectrum of biopolitical processes, which are manifested precisely through new international institutions and humanitarian discourse? We will try to answer these questions, in the following way. On the one hand, we will show that the views of authors such as Agamben and Hardt and Negri, in whom the state and sovereignty are seen as enemies to be defeated or overcome, fail to see how such attempts could translate into the politicization of life like it is done in many examples through the doctrine of liberal interventionism and humanitarianism. On the other hand, we will point out that it is precisely the humanitarian discourse and the defense of the right to intervention that can be the incentive and basis for the politicization of the category of life and lead to the selective application of human rights. Zizek example of the killing of United Nations workers and doctors in a village during the Vietnam War, who were targeted even before police or soldiers, because they were precisely seen as a powerful instrument of American imperialism (as they were sincerely trying to help the population), will be focus of this part of the analysis. We’ll ask the question whether such interpretation is a kind of liquidation of the extreme left of the political (Laclau) or on this basis can be explained at least in part the need to review the functioning of international organizations, ranging from those dealing with humanitarian aid (and humanitarian military interventions) to those dealing with protection and the security of the population, primarily from growing terrorism. Based on the above examples, we will also explain how the discourse of terrorism itself plays a dual role: it can appear as a tool of liberal biopolitics, although, more superficially, it mostly appears as an enemy that wants to destroy the liberal system and its values. This brings us to the basic problem that this paper will tackle: do the mechanisms of institutional struggle for human rights and freedoms, which is often seen as opposed to the security mechanisms of the state, serve the governance of citizens in such a way that the latter themselves participate in producing biopolitical governmental practices? Is the freedom today "nothing but the correlative development of apparatuses of security" (Foucault)? Or, we can continue this line of Foucault’s argumentation and enhance the interpretation with the important question of what precisely today reflects the change in the rationality of governance in which society is transformed from a passive object into a subject of its own production. Finally, in order to understand the skills of biopolitical governance in modern civil society, it is necessary to pay attention to the status of international organizations, which seem to have become a significant place for the implementation of global governance. In this sense, the power of sovereignty can turn out to be an insufficiently strong power of security policy, which can go hand in hand with freedom policies, through neoliberal governmental techniques.

Keywords: neoliberalism, Foucault, sovereignty, biopolitics, international organizations, NGOs, Agamben, Hardt&Negri, Zizek, security, state power

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14 Defending Indigenous Working Urban Spaces Trough Visual Activism in Quito

Authors: Katherine Anson

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This paper takes a closer look at the use of day-to-day informal working practices in Latin American spatial, cultural activism against gentrification. Through a discursive analysis of the Ecuadorian communally made film documentary San Roque: A House for All (2015), and the study of the political conflict around the gentrification of the place, the essay illustrates how the purposeful showcase of indigenous uses of space claims ownership over the city’s downtown area. This argument concludes that by making visible everyday indigenous ways of production in relation to space, the video contests the neoliberalist aim to proletarianize the urban poor, and therefore, to transform them into a landless group. This approach demonstrates that through representations of their own cultural working practices grassroots organizations consciously deconstruct/contest the capitalist urbanization of space.

Keywords: cultural activism, gentrification, indigenous working traditions, neoliberalism, urban displacement, everyday forms of resistance

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13 Contradictive Representation of Women in Postfeminist Japanese Media

Authors: Emiko Suzuki

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Although some claim that we are in a post-feminist society, the word “postfeminism” still raises questions to many. In postfeminist media, as a British sociologist Rosalind Gill points out, on the one hand, it seems to promote an empowering image of women who are active, positively sexually motivated, has free will to make market choices, and have surveillance and discipline for their personality and body, yet on the other hand, such beautiful and attractive feminist image imposes stronger surveillance of their mind and body for women. Similar representation, which is that femininity is described in a contradictive way, is seen in Japanese media as well. This study tries to capture how post-feminist Japanese media is, contrary to its ostensible messages, encouraging women to join the obedience to the labor system by affirming the traditional image of attractive women using sexual objectification and promoting values of neoliberalism. The result shows an interesting insight into how Japanese media is creating a conflicting ideal representation of women through repeatedly exposing such images.

Keywords: postfeminism, Japanese media, sexual objectification, embodiment

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12 Dramatic US Television in the 21st Century: Articulating the Human through Expressions of Violence

Authors: Peter Ellis

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United States dramatic television in the 21st century is inarguably violent. This violence can be as physical as the gruesome viscera spilled in AMC’s The Walking Dead; it can be as psychological as the suppressive dominance of Tony Soprano over his wife Carmella in HBO’s The Sopranos; and it can sit like shares on the stock market, where investment in violence sits as an economic choice, as with AMC’s Breaking Bad. Violence permeates these narratives, simultaneously threatening and defining the lives of their characters through its use in their relationships. What propels this exploration of humanity through violence is the use of language: the dictation of interaction in an economy in which characters negotiate successful acts of violence, or how they meet with the successful violence of others. Language is the defining force which separates and elucidates characters through conflict, as Slavoj Žižek writes, “it is because of language that we and our neighbours (can) “live in different worlds” even when we live on the same street.” This paper examines three different manifestations that violence takes in US television, specifically through the examples of The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, and Breaking Bad. Through the prism of Žižek’s conception of language as the uniquely human vehicle of violence, I aim to display how these shows sit as expressions of a neo-humanism, in which the complexities of language manipulate violence and define character in the process.

Keywords: violence, humanism, neoliberalism, American television

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11 The Eathquake Discourse as a Strategy of an Urban Renewal: A Case Study into the Karapınar Valley Regeneration Project in Eskişehir, Turkey

Authors: Cansu Civelek

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The flexible and uneven character of neoliberalism has provided adaptation of urban strategies into the constantly changing circumstances in order to renew and reproduce the neoliberal accumulation model. Instrumentalization of catastrophic events to this end has been one of those global urban strategies. Regarding Turkey, exploitation of natural disasters has been the latest tactic of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government to achieve radical economic goals. ‘Unhealthy’ and ‘risky’ structures of squatter settlements have often been articulated while the regenerations, expropriations, and exclusions have been sugarcoated through the discourses of ‘reintegrating the shanty zones into the cities’, ‘supplying healthy housing’, and ‘win-win’ character of the projects. Being the first regeneration project of Eskişehir, the Karapınar Regeneration Project has been initiated in 2011 by the partnership of the Odunpazarı Municipality of the JDP and the Mass Housing Organization. Discourses around the forthcoming disasters, ‘risky structures’ of the squatters, and the importance of the ‘security of life and property’ have been utilized, even though the zone is situated on a geotechnically stable area. Yet, many of the locals are worried about the payments while some have already decided to move elsewhere at the outskirts of the city.

Keywords: neoliberal urbanism, urban regeneration, illegal settlements, discourses

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10 The Political Biographies of Social Workers: A Qualitative Study of the Political Lives of Social Workers

Authors: Hefin Gwilym

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This paper will explore the political biographies of social workers in a neoliberal era. The findings are based on a research project for a successfully completed professional doctorate in social work. The methodology deployed for the research is a combination of constructivist grounded theory and biographical inquiry. The paper will present findings from 14 biographical interviews and will focus on one case study of a participant whose life story is richly informed by political social work. The 14 participants reflect different genders, ethnic identities, cultural and linguistic identities, age and length of social work careers. The participants also reflect different forms of political engagement, such as, as political activists and members of political parties, including parliamentarians. The findings demonstrate how deeply ingrained the social work identity is amongst the participants and how their political identity has remained strongly social democratic in nature despite the many changes in the social work profession since the rise of neoliberalism as a thought collective and policy package. The individual case study will explore the early roots of political identity in the childhood and nurturing years and the interface with subsequent social work and political careers. It will also explore the evolution of the participant’s political identity in the social work career. The case study will also present findings on how the participant has contributed to the political field with policy involvement and initiatives. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on how this particular group of social workers can best contribute to the future direction of the social work profession.

Keywords: political social work, political biographies, neoliberal, grounded theory

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9 Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

Authors: Nardine El Bardisy, Wolf Reuter, Ayat Ismail

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In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Keywords: new urban communities, modern planning, social interaction, social life

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8 A Surrealist Play of Associations: Neoliberalism, Critical Pedagogy and Surrealism in Secondary English Language Arts

Authors: Stephanie Ho

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This project utilizes principles derived from the Surrealist movement to prioritize creative and critical thinking in secondary English Language Arts (ELA). The implementation of Surrealist-style pedagogies within an ELA classroom will be rooted in critical, radical pedagogy, which addresses the injustices caused by economic-oriented educational systems. The use of critical pedagogy will enable the subversive artistic and political aims of Surrealism to be transmitted to a classroom context. Through aesthetic reading strategies, appreciative questioning and dialogue, students will actively critique the power dynamics which structure (and often restrict) their lives. Within the ELA domain, cost-effective approaches often replace the actual “arts” of ELA. This research will therefore explore how Surrealist-oriented pedagogies could restore imaginative freedom and deconstruct conceptual barriers (normative standards, curricular constraints, and status quo power relations) in secondary ELA. This research will also examine how Surrealism can be used as a political and pedagogical model to treat societal problems mirrored in ELA classrooms. The stakeholders are teachers, as they experience constant pressure within their practices. Similarly, students encounter rigorous, results-based pressures. These dynamics contribute to feelings of powerlessness, thus reinforcing a formulaic model of ELA. The ELA curriculum has potential to create laboratories for critical discussion and active movement towards social change. This proposed research strategy of Surrealist-oriented pedagogies could enable students to experiment with social issues and develop senses of agency and voice that reflect awareness of contemporary society while simultaneously building their ELA skills.

Keywords: arts-informed pedagogies, language arts, literature, surrealism

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7 Rethinking Africa's 'Great Runner': Authoritarianism and Development in Post-Cold War Ethiopia

Authors: Frew Yirgalem Mane

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This study has examined Africa’s experiment with authoritarian model of development drawing from the experience of Ethiopia. With the tectonic crisis of neoliberal ideology, the dominant policy agenda in Africa pertains to bringing the state back to development. More concretely, countries epitomized by Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda have been constructing a highly interventionist state with authoritarian character. The central motive appears to facilitate development and salvage people out of appalling and grinding poverty. Each country warrants closer inspection. However, this study focuses on Ethiopia- a country often applauded as ‘Africa’s Great Run’ for delivering socio-economic success over the past two decades. In fact, inspired by East Asia’s including Chinese model of authoritarian development, Ethiopia orchestrated a vanguard party, centralized rent control system with politicized bureaucracy and militaristic mobilization resources for development. This arrangement may explain Ethiopia economic success story as one the fastest growing countries in the world. However, this paper detected, Ethiopia’s attempt to bring the state back in development has precipitated institutionalization of a new breed of authoritarianism and informalization of public institutions. Ethiopia’s model of state-led development may constitute a noticeable shift away from the vengeful adherence to neoliberal policies. However, the manner the model has been practiced proved to be neither smooth nor appears to address Ethiopia’s aspiration for political and economic transformation. Partly, this can be illustrated by recent widespread grievances that fed into the popular uprising and animated opposition against the state. Sources of the grievance are complex, but they are highly ingrained with the way the authoritarian model of development is functioning and also the model’s dis-functioning in terms of benefiting people. In light of these findings, the study has arrived at the following conclusion. Africa’s attempt to emulate development models from other countries is not such a ‘bad’ thing. However, emulation makes sense if it is contextualized and sensitive to complex local socio-economic interests.

Keywords: Africa, authoritarianism, development, Ethiopia, neoliberalism

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6 Educating for Acceptance or Action: Bachelor of Social Work Education in Canada

Authors: Elizabeth Radian

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In a challenging era of neoliberalism and managerialism in social services, the status of Canadian social work education at the Bachelor of Social Work level (BSW) was examined to determine how prepared students were to practice in a time of resource cutbacks and insecurity. Curricula in BSW programs was the focus as this generalist degree results in the greatest number of social work graduates in Canada, most of whom work at the front lines in service delivery. The study reviewed the practice frameworks that students in BSW programs were exposed to. Traditionally, schools of social work have embraced two major practice frameworks. The person in environment framework is a well-established practice framework taught in most schools. The framework offers some focus on smaller scale social change, tweaking existing arrangements and is more accepting of the status quo. An alternate practice framework taught in fewer schools has been described as a structural, progressive or anti oppressive framework. This latter framework challenges the status quo, is focused on social justice and social transformation, often incorporating social action strategies to ensure marginalized voices are heard. Using a content analysis methodology of keywords and phrases to delineate framework orientation, practice frameworks articulated in the curricula were determined by reviewing the mission/mandate of schools offering a BSW degree, their core course outlines and core course textbooks. Social action, as one strategy for initiating social change and transformation was considered. Initial research for 28 schools was completed in 2000, with follow up replications of the initial study in 2005 and 2014. These earlier studies displayed that the dominant practice framework taught in BSW programs was the person in environment framework. A lesser number of schools were categorized as primarily offering a structural, progressive or anti oppressive framework. The findings from the current study of 39 Canadian schools of social work are considered to determine how prominent structural, progressive and anti oppressive frameworks exist in current BSW curricula. This study can assist in contemplating the question – are we educating future practitioners for acceptance or action.

Keywords: social work education and pedagogy, social change, social justice, social services

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5 A Call for Justice and a New Economic Paradigm: Analyzing Counterhegemonic Discourses for Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Environmental Protection in Philippine Alternative Media

Authors: B. F. Espiritu

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This paper examines the resistance of the Lumad people, the indigenous peoples in Mindanao, Southern Philippines, and of environmental and human rights activists to the Philippine government's neoliberal policies and their call for justice and a new economic paradigm that will uphold peoples' rights and environmental protection in two alternative media online sites. The study contributes to the body of knowledge on indigenous resistance to neoliberal globalization and the quest for a new economic paradigm that upholds social justice for the marginalized in society, empathy and compassion for those who depend on the land for their survival, and environmental sustainability. The study analyzes the discourses in selected news articles from Davao Today and Kalikasan (translated to English as 'Nature') People's Network for the Environment’s statements and advocacy articles for the Lumad and the environment from 2018 to February 2020. The study reveals that the alternative media news articles and the advocacy articles contain statements that expose the oppression and violation of human rights of the Lumad people, farmers, government environmental workers, and environmental activists as shown in their killings, illegal arrest and detention, displacement of the indigenous peoples, destruction of their schools by the military and paramilitary groups, and environmental plunder and destruction with the government's permit for the entry and operation of extractive and agribusiness industries in the Lumad ancestral lands. Anchored on Christian Fuch's theory of alternative media as critical media and Bert Cammaerts' theorization of alternative media as counterhegemonic media that are part of civil society and form a third voice between state media and commercial media, the study reveals the counterhegemonic discourses of the news and advocacy articles that oppose the dominant economic system of neoliberalism which oppresses the people who depend on the land for their survival. Furthermore, the news and advocacy articles seek to advance social struggles that transform society towards the realization of cooperative potentials or a new economic paradigm that upholds economic democracy, where the local people, including the indigenous people, are economically empowered their environment and protected towards the realization of self-sustaining communities. The study highlights the call for justice, empathy, and compassion for both the people and the environment and the need for a new economic paradigm wherein indigenous peoples and local communities are empowered towards becoming self-sustaining communities in a sustainable environment.

Keywords: alternative media, environmental sustainability, human rights, indigenous resistance

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4 Subjective Realities of Neoliberalized Social Media Natives: Trading Affect for Effect

Authors: Rory Austin Clark

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This primary research represents an ongoing two year inductive mixed-methods project endeavouring to unravel the subjective reality of hyperconnected young adults in Western societies who have come of age with social media and smartphones. It is to be presented as well as analyzed and contextualized through a written master’s thesis as well as a documentary/mockumentary meshed with a Web 2.0 app providing the capacity for prosumer, 'audience 2.0' functionality. The media component seeks to explore not only thematic issues via real-life research interviews and fictional narrative but technical issues within the format relating to the quest for intimate, authentic connection as well as compelling dissemination of scholarly knowledge in an age of ubiquitous personalized daily digital media creation and consumption. The overarching hypothesis is that the aforementioned individuals process and make sense of their world, find shared meaning, and formulate notions-of-self in ways drastically different than pre-2007 via hyper-mediation-of-self and surroundings. In this pursuit, research questions have progressed from examining how young adult digital natives understand their use of social media to notions relating to the potential functionality of Web 2.0 for prosocial and altruistic engagement, on and offline, through the eyes of these individuals no longer understood as simply digital natives, but social media natives, and at the conclusion of that phase of research, as 'neoliberalized social media natives' (NSMN). This represents the two most potent macro factors in the paradigmatic shift in NSMS’s worldview, that they are not just children of social media, but of the palpable shift to neoliberal ways of thinking and being in the western socio-cultures since the 1980s, two phenomena that have a reflexive æffective relationship on their perception of figure and ground. This phase also resulted in the working hypothesis of 'social media comparison anxiety' and a nascent understanding of NSMN’s habitus and habitation in a subjective reality of fully converged online/offline worlds, where any phenomena originating in one realm in some way are, or at the very least can be, re-presented or have effect in the other—creating hyperreal reception. This might also be understood through a 'society as symbolic cyborg model', in which individuals have a 'digital essence'-- the entirety of online content that references a single person, as an auric living, breathing cathedral, museum, gallery, and archive of self of infinite permutations and rhizomatic entry and exit points.

Keywords: affect, hyperreal, neoliberalism, postmodernism, social media native, subjective reality, Web 2.0

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3 Gender Policies and Political Culture: An Examination of the Canadian Context

Authors: Chantal Maille

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This paper is about gender-based analysis plus (GBA+), an intersectional gender policy used in Canada to assess the impact of policies and programs for men and women from different origins. It looks at Canada’s political culture to explain the nature of its gender policies. GBA+ is defined as an analysis method that makes it possible to assess the eventual effects of policies, programs, services, and other initiatives on women and men of different backgrounds because it takes account of gender and other identity factors. The ‘plus’ in the name serves to emphasize that GBA+ goes beyond gender to include an examination of a wide range of other related identity factors, such as age, education, language, geography, culture, and income. The point of departure for GBA+ is that women and men are not homogeneous populations and gender is never the only factor in defining a person’s identity; rather, it interacts with factors such as ethnic origin, age, disabilities, where the person lives, and other aspects of individual and social identity. GBA+ takes account of these factors and thus challenges notions of similarity or homogeneity within populations of women and men. Comparative analysis based on sex and gender may serve as a gateway to studying a given question, but women, men, girls, and boys do not form homogeneous populations. In the 1990s, intersectionality emerged as a new feminist framework. The popularity of the notion of intersectionality corresponds to a time when, in hindsight, the damage done to minoritized groups by state disengagement policies in concert with global intensification of neoliberalism, and vice versa, can be measured. Although GBA+ constitutes a form of intersectionalization of GBA, it must be understood that the two frameworks do not spring from a similar logic. Intersectionality first emerged as a dynamic analysis of differences between women that was oriented toward change and social justice, whereas GBA is a technique developed by state feminists in a context of analyzing governmental policies and aiming to promote equality between men and women. It can nevertheless be assumed that there might be interest in such a policy and program analysis grid that is decentred from gender and offers enough flexibility to take account of a group of inequalities. In terms of methodology, the research is supported by a qualitative analysis of governmental documents about GBA+ in Canada. Research findings identify links between Canadian gender policies and its political culture. In Canada, diversity has been taken into account as an element at the basis of gendered analysis of public policies since 1995. The GBA+ adopted by the government of Canada conveys an opening to intersectionality and a sensitivity to multiculturalism. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act, adopted 1988, proposes to recognize the fact that multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian identity and heritage and constitutes an invaluable resource for the future of the country. In conclusion, Canada’s distinct political culture can be associated with the specific nature of its gender policies.

Keywords: Canada, gender-based analysis, gender policies, political culture

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2 Regulating the Ottomans on Turkish Television and the Making of Good Citizens

Authors: Chien Yang Erdem

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This paper takes up the proliferating historical dramas and children’s programs featuring the Ottoman-Islamic legacy on Turkish television as a locus where the processes of subjectification take place. A critical analysis of this emergent cultural phenomenon reveals an alliance of neoliberal and neoconservative political rationalities based on which the Turkish media is restructured to transform society. The existing debates have focused on how the Ottoman historical dramas manifest the Justice and Development Party’s (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) neo-Ottomanist ideology and foreign policy. However, this approach tends to overlook the more complex relationship between the media, government, and society. Employing Michel Foucault’s notion of 'technologies of the self,' this paper aims to examine the governing practices that are deployed to regulate the media and to transform individual citizens into governable subjects in contemporary Turkey. First, through a brief discussion of recent development of the Turkish media towards an authoritarian model, the paper suggests that the relation between the Ottoman television drama and the political subject in question cannot be adequately examined without taking into account the force of the market. Second, by focusing on the managerial restructuring of the Turkish Television and Radio Corporation (Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu), the paper aims to illustrate the rationale and process through which the Turkish media sector is transformed into an integral part of the free market where the government becomes a key actor. The paper contends that this new sphere of free market is organized in a way that enables direct interference of the government and divides media practitioners and consumers into opposing categories through their own participation in the media market. On the one hand, a 'free subject' is constituted based on the premise that the market is a sphere where individuals are obliged to exercise their right to freedom (of choice, lifestyle, and expression). On the other hand, this 'free subject' is increasingly subjugated to such disciplinary practices as censorship for being on the wrong side of the government. Finally, the paper examines the relation between the restructured Turkish media market and the proliferation of Ottoman television drama in the 2010s. The study maintains that the reorganization of the media market has produced a condition where private sector is encouraged to take an active role in reviving Turkey’s Ottoman-Islamic cultural heritage and promulgating moral-religious values. Paying specific attention to the controversial case of Magnificent Century (Muhteşem Yüzyıl) in contrast with TRT’s Ottoman historical drama and children’s programs, the paper aims to identify the ways in which individual citizens are directed to conduct themselves as a virtuous citizenry. It is through the double movement between the governing practices associated with the media market and those concerning the making of a 'conservative generation' that a subject of citizenry of new Turkey is constituted.

Keywords: neoconservatism, neoliberalism, ottoman historical drama, technologies of the self, Turkish television

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1 Social Movements of Yogyakarta South Coastal Area Community against the Ferruginous Sand Quarry Construction

Authors: Muhammad Alhada Fuadilah Habib, Ayla Karina Budita, Cut Rizka Al Usrah, Mukhammad Fatkhullah, Kanita Khoirun Nisa, Siti Muslihatul Mukaromah

Abstract:

In this contemporary era, the term of development often emphasised merely on the economic growth aspect. Development of a program often considered as superior by the government, in fact, it often raises various problems. The problems occur because the development policies determined by the government tend to favor private entrepreneurs and impose on the oppression toward the community. The development promised to prosper the community's life, turn out in fact of harming the community, threatening the survival of the community and damaging the ecosystem of nature where the community hangs their life to it. Nowadays many natural resources should be used for the community’s life prosperity. However, the prosperity is conquered by the private entrepreneurs that are regulated through the free market mechanism and wrapped in democratization. This condition actually is a form of neoliberalism that builds new administration order system which is far from the meaning of the word democracy. The government should play more role in protecting community's life and prosperity, but in fact, the government sides with the private entrepreneurs for the sake of the economic benefits regardless of other aspects of the community’s life. This unjustified condition presents a wide range of social movements from the community in response to the neoliberalis policy that actually eliminates the doctrine of community sovereignty. Social movements performed by Yogyakarta south coastal area community, as the focus of the discussion in this paper, is one of the community’s response toward the government policies related to the construction of the ferruginous sand quarry which is tend to favor on private entrepreneurs and highly prejudicing or even threatening the survival of Yogyakarta south coastal area community. The data collection in this study uses qualitative research methods with in-depth interview data collection techniques and purposive informant determination techniques. This method was chosen in order to obtain the insightful data and detailed information to uncover the injustice policies committed by the government-private entrepreneurs toward Yogyakarta south coastal area community. The brief results of this study show that the conflicts between the community and government-private entrepreneurs occurred because of the differences of interests and paradigm of natural resource management. The resistance movements done by the community to fight back the government-private entrepreneurs was conducted by forming an organization called Paguyupan Petani Lahan Pantai Kulon Progo (PPLP-KP). This organization do the resistances through two ways; firstly, quiet action done through various actions such as; refusing against the socialization, performing discussion to deliberate their argument with the government-private entrepreneurs, complaining the problems to the central government, creating banners or billboards which contain the writing of rejection, performing pray rituals to invoke the justice from the God, as well as instill the resistance ideology to their young generation. Secondly, the rough action also is done through various actions such as; doing roadblocks, conducting rallies, as well as doing clash with the government apparatus. In case the resistances done by the community are seen from the pattern. Actually, the resistances are reaction toward the aggression carried out by the government-private entrepreneurs.

Keywords: community resistance, conflict, ferruginous sand quarry construction, social movement

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