The Ambiguity of Resistance: Civil Society Engagements with Neoliberalism

Date created: 
2017-02-24
Identifier: 
etd10011
Keywords: 
Resistance to Capitalism
Neoliberalism
Para-capitalism
Substantivism
Neoliberal Ontology
Political Economy
Abstract: 

Resistances to neoliberal capitalism primarily occur within the realm of civil society today. There are varying theories that speak to the ability of such resistances. On the one hand, a theory of neoliberal ontology posits an inescapable structure that delimits our capacity to effectively resist. On the other hand, a theory of intentional economy asserts an ability to contest and transform dominant structures. Through a qualitative semi-ethnographic extended-case study conducted with two para-capitalist organizations operating within southern British Columbia, this thesis examines and nuances notions of resistance via a Polanyian and Marxist theoretical framework, and advances an argument for a theory of the ‘politics of ambiguity’. This captures the simultaneous positionings of resistance groups within a neoliberal ontology and intentional economy form. As determined, these groups necessarily demonstrate ambiguity to varying degrees, on the one hand reproducing neoliberal paradigms and structures, while concurrently working to forge emancipatory realities and understandings.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yıldız Atasoy
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: