This Fouauldian analysis of political identity- formation, social ethics, and cultural policy in advanced capitalist societies is a timely addition to democratic theory. Miller contrasts the ethic of 'incompleteness' which produces an accelerated and self-policing citizens to the 'autoinvention' exemplified by (some) new social movements and hinted at Foucault's later works. The middle, substantive chapters are the strongest; Miller marshalls a wealth of original data on the deep schism between selfless citizen and self-serving customer underlying much Australian and Brittish Public Policy; the politics of incivility (again, in Australia); and the issue of 'cultural imperialism' under the General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade. These imaginative discussion denaturalize such classic concepts as national identity, state sovreignty, individual autonomy, self-discovery, and civic virtue.
Miller's work is extremely engaging, original, and successful in producing a set of innovative analyses of the formation of cultural subjects.
This is a major work on the connection of theoretical to political practice under postmodernity. At once rigorous and readable, its academic concerns will be both accessible and useful to readers asking—as contemporary readers indomitably do—what these debates in cultural theory have to do with the conduct of theirsocial lives.
Other Titles from Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society
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