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The Making Of Class And Gender Through Visualizing Moral Subject Formation

Bev Skeggs
Published 2005 · Sociology

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This article explores how white working-class women are figured as the constitutive limit – in proximity – to national public morality. It is argued that four processes: increased ambivalence generated by the reworking of moral boundaries; new forms of neo-liberal governance in which the use of culture is seen as a form of personal responsibility by which new race relations are formed; new ways of investing in one’s self as a way of generating exchange-value via affects and display; and the shift to compulsory individuality are reshaping class relations via the making of the self. By showing and telling themselves in public white working-class women are forced to display their ‘lack’ of moral value according to the symbolic values generated by the above processes. It is a no-win situation for them unless we shift our perspective from exchange-value to use-value.
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