Silvia Vida

Precarious identities, governmentality, and violence

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Governmentality; Precarious Identity; Violence; Neoliberalism.

What kind of freedom is the one to which the neoliberal subject is entitled? How does the socio-political dimension of governmentality relate to the ethical dimension of the neoliberal subject? The present article aims at demonstrating, first, that neoliberalism's governmental rationality breeds subjectivities that are quintessentially precarious, and that such impermanence metaphorically reflects the peculiar form of freedom that the neoliberal subject embodies. Secondly, it intends to show that social uncertainty and existential insecurity are the ingredients of an identity shaped by a violent despotic power, which spawns and exploits fear, and translates into a "quasi-totalitarianism" that is characteristic of the present stage of neoliberal capitalism and its peculiar forms of subjection. Finally, it raises questions about whether the conditions exist that would allow the victims of such a regime to restore their agency.

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