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Culture and Subjectivity
PSYC 318
Spring 2022
Section: 01  

This is a course about neoliberal culture, its distinctive social and psychological characteristics, and possible alternative conceptions of the social and forms of subjectivity in the 21st century. Neoliberalism is a contested signifier that designates both an economic program and a cascade of cultural changes that began coalescing and accelerating in the early 1980's and has continued to exert an influence that has only recently been challenged by the resurgence of nationalism ushered in by the Trump era which has reverberated across the globe. Over the course of its development, neoliberalism has had widespread ramifications not only as an economic doctrine that spurred and intensified globalization but also as a cultural ideology that has influenced self-concept and modes of social relating. This course focuses on the concept of human subjectivity and how subjectivity appears within a neoliberal horizon. The critical psychologist Thomas Teo states, "society, culture, and history provide forms (molds) of subjectivity, whereby (developing) individuals have the agency to sometimes choose, expand or change forms, and in rare circumstances, they may even be able to transcend these forms. Under normal circumstances, however, humans adapt, (ful)fill, and actively 'suture' into these forms, allowing for variations and new actualizations." To elucidate the current cultural molds informing neoliberal subjectivity, the historical development of neoliberal economic doctrine and its implementations will be studied, followed by an examination of neoliberal cultural products (e.g. Serial TV and Social Media) considering both their content and form. Finally, recent reactionary phenomena will be considered in relation to the effects of neoliberalism as well as what social and subjective alternatives exist within our current indeterminate conjuncture.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM PSYC
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode:
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on APR-17-2024
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