Economic Representations: Academic and Everyday
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Why is there such a proliferation of economic discourses in literary theory, cultural studies, anti-sweatshop debates, popular music, and other areas outside the official discipline of economics? How is the economy represented in different ways by economists and non-economists?
In this volume, scholars from a wide variety of disciplines and countries, from inside and outside the academy, explore the implications of the fact that the economy is being represented in so many different ways. They analyze what it means for scholars and activists in trying to make sense of existing representations-theories, pictures, and stories--of the economy. They also show how new representations can be produced and utilized to change how we look at and participate in current economic debates.
By encouraging the mutual recognition of existing approaches and exploring the various ways economic representations function in diverse venues within and beyond mainstream economics, Ruccio has produced a book that is relevant to subjects as diverse as economic sociology and anthropology, political economy, globalization and cultural studies.
practices. 48 See Bullert (2000) for interesting discussion. 52 Martha A. Starr issue would never have made it “into People magazine until they went after Kathie Lee.”49 As argued in the present paper, a key reason for interest in this story is not just its details, but its resonance to people: it illustrates beautifully the idea that free-market globalization beneﬁts the rich and powerful, while screwing the “little guy.” Kathie Lee is a wealthy, famous member of the entertainment elite; her
Economist, The. 2000. “The Case for Globalisation,” 9/23, p. 19. Economist, The. 2001a. “Globalisation and its Critics,” 9/29, pp. s3–s5. Economist, The. 2001b. “Grinding the Poor,” 9/29, pp. s10–s11. Economist, The. 2001c. “A plague of ﬁnance,” 9/29, pp. s21–s25. Economist, The. 2001d. “Proﬁts over People,” 9/29, pp. s5–s9. Economist, The. 2001e. “A different manifesto,” 9/29, p. s28. Economist, The. 2003. “Liberty’s great advance,” 6/26. Economist, The. 2004. “Poverty and inequality: A question
Finally, some members of the American left represented Appalachia during the Depression as a potent symbol of imminent proletarian revolution. They were inspired by the mass insurgency of 10,000 armed coal miners who had marched from Charleston, West Virginia in the 1920s to overthrow the gun thug-dominated, anti-union government of Logan County, and by the communist-led strike of Harlan County, Kentucky miners in the 1930s. They pictured Appalachia as a zone of spontaneous class militancy. Most
set of representations is taken to be a more accurate depiction – of the economy or of the views held by economic agents – than others. I am not making such an argument. The epistemological problems associated with the idea of accurate representation are too legion to be ignored or overcome by simply declaring, or devising tests to conclude, that economic reality can be better captured by one set of representations in comparison to others.4 Nor, by the same token, am I arguing that contemporary
administrators to fulﬁl the “results-based” requirements by drilling students to pass the standard tests. In this way, the shoe-horning of education into the procrustean bed of results-based contracts would probably do more harm than good to the original substantive goals of education. In a way, it is all quite ironic. Parents, politicians, and school administrators all want students to be creative problem-solvers and to learn material at a deep, conceptual level. But in their eagerness to