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On Neoliberalism and Other Social Diseases: The 2008 Sociocultural Anthropology Year in Review

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Abstract

ABSTRACT  In this article, I consider a selection of the 129 articles of new research published in five of the leading Anglo-American peer-reviewed outlets for sociocultural anthropology in 2008, discerning two general, but related, trends. The first suggests an ongoing interest among sociocultural anthropologists in new forms and contexts of market capitalism and a deepening concern for the multiple, complex, and even contradictory orientations to those forms by social actors caught up in them. The second reveals a concern with the imbrications of political and scientific epistemologies, particularly as they emerge in state policies and actions around issues of public health, the environment, and agriculture. Where they come together is in the number of studies whose objects of inquiry reside at the nexus where science, politics, and markets meet in what they see as the creeping expansion of neoliberal logics and their implications for the state as a political formation. [Keywords: sociocultural anthropology, neoliberalism, science studies, public health, capitalism]

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