Commentary on Andrew Orta's "Managing the Margins": The anthropology of transnational capitalism, neoliberalism, and risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ethnographic examinations of neoliberalism are increasingly nuanced and varied, intersecting vertical power relations to enter such sites as MBA curricula and the training and cultivation of business executives. Andrew Orta's "Managing the Margins" exemplifies such research. In it, he investigates how professionalizing business subjects are socialized to approach "the market" and showcase their business expertise through commensurating techniques such as executive summaries and value-chain analyses. At the same time, the distinctiveness of their education is often forged through singular, seemingly incommensurable study-abroad trips to "emerging markets," where the experiences and adventure of encountering "risky" margins construct the self as daring and enterprising. Incommensurable experiences at the margins are translated and reabsorbed into the normative production of professional selves. Careful attention is required, in ethnographic projects such as these, not to reinscribe dominant assumptions of what constitutes capitalist motivations and approaches to risk, not to mention, the very context of capitalism itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • Capitalism
  • Expertise
  • Margins
  • Neoliberalism
  • Risk

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Commentary on Andrew Orta's "Managing the Margins": The anthropology of transnational capitalism, neoliberalism, and risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this