Can't Stop the Hustle: The Production and Exploitation of Precarious Life in Inner-City Philadelphia
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CitationKarandinos, George. 2020. Can't Stop the Hustle: The Production and Exploitation of Precarious Life in Inner-City Philadelphia. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractDrawing on ethnographic research on an open-air heroin, crack, and cocaine selling block in inner-city Philadelphia, my dissertation focuses on the intersection of poverty, violence, disability, care, and biological citizenship to explore how processes of private accumulation extract profits from and through the bodies of the poor even as their capacity for formal wage labor becomes increasingly superfluous to the needs of capital. In particular, I examine rising rates of physical and psychiatric disability qualifying poor residents for public assistance as a partial exception to the broader retrenchment of less-selective forms of welfare that powerfully intersects with the corporate interest to pharmaceuticalize socially produced suffering, as is evident in the rapid growth of the markets for opioid painkillers and psychiatric medications. To understand these processes, I propose a theory of "accumulation through citizenship" that renders visible a method by which claims on the state made in the name of vulnerable populations are manipulated by private interests for financial gain while also facilitating partial access to otherwise restricted state resources for the poor. I argue that this concept is consequential both for understanding new dynamics of accumulation in an increasingly post-wage-labor era as well as the neoliberalization of citizenship that places commodity consumption at the center of political belonging.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365907
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