Past Event


Gender, Class and the Neoliberal Project

13 November 2014 17:00–18:30

Fulton A Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton

Because patriarchy – that is, the systematic patterns of inequality between women and men in any particular setting – long antedates capitalism, so too must analyses of gender account for forms of patriarchy in all class societies.

Class elites use violence to enforce privilege, but also to sustain inequality over time, and make inequality ideologically compelling. Racialised differences sometimes do this job, but sexual imagery and gendered stereotypes always do so. Everywhere they combine, most powerfully, love with the injuries of class.

This most intimate of all contradictions is the key to ideologies of gendered inequality. As can be seen in the recent history of neoliberalism, when modes of production change, class relations also change, and ideological changes follow. This lecture will examine how new forms of sexual imagery appear to naturalise new forms of inequality, and how these, in turn, are met with new forms of gendered resistance and struggle.

About the speakers

Nancy Lindisfarne taught social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London for many years. She has done anthropological fieldwork in Iran, Afghanistan, in a Turkish town, and among the urban bourgeoisie in Syria. Her publications include Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative Ethnographies (co-edited with Andrea Cornwall, Routledge, 1994) which, twenty years on, has been celebrated in the symposium ‘Revisiting Dislocating Masculinity’, held at the University of Sussex in July, 2014. Other publications include Bartered Brides: Politics, Gender and Marriage in an Afghan Tribal Society (Cambridge, 1991), and a book of short stories, Dancing in Damascus (SUNY, 2000), which also appeared in Arabic, and Turkish.

Jonathan Neale studied social anthropology at LSE, doing fieldwork with Afghan nomads, and social history at Warwick, writing a thesis on mutinies in the eighteenth century Royal Navy. He writes plays, novels and non-fiction, including books on the Vietnam War, the history of Sherpa climbers, the politics of climate change, the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa, and neoliberalism in America. Jonathan worked for nine years as an abortion counsellor in a feminist collective, and for four years as an HIV counsellor in the NHS. He is international secretary of the Campaign against Climate Change, and the editor of One Million Climate Jobs. Jonathan is also a senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University.

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