Author

Shear

Date of Award

8-2006

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Ann MIles

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Hill

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Ulin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The idea of "community" evokes many long held, positive imaginings. Community implies neighborliness, togetherness, helping each other, tolerance and understanding. Community is set against modem society and is commonly understood to be a solution to the deleterious impacts of capitalism and the state. Although community can be a site of resistance, I am also interested in the ways in which the ideology of community assists in facilitating capitalist inequalities.

The latter part of the twentieth-century saw a significant restructuring of capital in the United States as privatization and deregulation were accompanied by a decline in the welfare state. These efforts and policies, sometimes described as "neoliberal", have helped to create great challenges for many localities. In Kalamazoo, MI, government and citizens are making efforts to address a general withdrawal of resources, class inequalities, economic restructuring, poverty, and increasing homelessness associated with neoliberal capitalism. Drawing on Gramscian theory, as well as the works of contemporary scholars like Miranda Joseph and Sue Hyatt, I consider the ways that "community" assists in maintaining capitalist hegemony by naturalizing capitalist development and depoliticizing citizen-subjects.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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