Sociology Seminar Series: Relation Flexibility: Skills, “Personality Development” and the Limits of Theorising Neoliberalism in India | Shiv Nadar University
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Sociology Seminar Series: Relation Flexibility: Skills, “Personality Development” and the Limits of Theorising Neoliberalism in India

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 31, 2022 -
18:0019:30

The Department of Sociology, Shiv Nadar University, invites you to the seminar titled ‘Relation Flexibility: Skills, “Personality Development” and the Limits of Theorising Neoliberalism in India’ by Prof. Sanjay Srivastava. The seminar will be held online. 

Abstract
‘Soft-skills’ and ‘personality development’ (PD) programs that aim at overcoming cultural and professional ‘deficiencies’ are key aspects of training for service-sector jobs in India. This talk explores how young people enrolled in skills and PD programs run by the government and private bodies make sense of attempts to train them to adopt new dispositions. It suggests that arguments regarding an ‘authentic’ self whose loss is either feared or mourned in the making of ‘neoliberal subjectivity’ may not account for the socially and culturally specific ways in which capitalism’s most marginal subjects engage with its possibilities. And that, ethnographic approaches to ‘neoliberalism’ and a recurring theme in anthropological writings – about split selves as deliberate acts of self-making – provide a more productive entry into contexts where neoliberal processes may not necessarily produce neoliberal subjects.

Bio-note
Prof. Sanjay Srivastava is British Academy Global Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),London), London, United Kingdom and Research Professor, Department of Sociology, Shiv Nadar University. Prof. Srivastava’s research interests and wide-ranging publications center on the themes of urbanism, urban cultures and technologies of planning, consumerism and the new middle classes, new forms of work and youth cultures, and, masculinities and culture. His new and ongoing collaborative research work is on Gurgaon and Johannesburg (for the Gurgaon part, please visit the project website: https://www.womensgurgaon.com/). This present work builds on his latest ethnography of Delhi and Gurgaon: titled ‘Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community, and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon’ (2015: OUP).

Thursday 31, Mar 2022
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

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