Workfare and the Contested Language of Neoliberalism
At times the fight over workfare unfolded as an argument over who had the authority to define these terms, and in Free Labor, John Krinsky focuses on changes in the language and organization of the political coalitions on either side of the debate. Krinsky’s broadly interdisciplinary analysis draws from interviews, official documents, and media reports to pursue new directions in the study of the cultural and cognitive aspects of political activism. Free Labor will instigate a lively dialogue among students of culture, labor and social movements, welfare policy, and urban political economy.
One / Free Labor?
Two / The Workfare Contract in the Workfare State
Three / The Formation of a Protest Field
Four / In the Trenches
Five / Mapping Passages through the Trenches
Six / Claims, Cognitions, and Contradictions
Seven / The Contested Language of Neoliberalism
“Brimming with novel analyses and methodological strategies, this is one of the most significant efforts to rethink the study of collective action and political contention that we’ve had in many years. Krinsky presents both a compelling analysis of the rise of workfare as a neoliberal policy project and a fine-grained examination of the travails and partial successes of anti-WEP coalitions.”
“Not only is workfare a critical frontier of neoliberal policy development, it has also been a zone of serial program failure, and a site of determined resistance. Free Labor presents an insightful analysis of a decade of concerted roll-backs and bitter struggles around the workfare offensive in New York City. But John Krinsky’s highly perceptive and creative book also does much more than this—helping visualize a politics of potential beyond workfare.”