A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Mindful Commons (Hardback) book cover

A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism

Reclaiming the Mindful Commons

By Peter Doran

© 2017 – Routledge

116 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138015975
pub: 2017-06-08
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Description

The power of capital is the power to target our attention, mould market-ready identities, and reduce the public realm to an endless series of choices. This has far-reaching implications for our psychological, physical and spiritual well-being, and ultimately for our global ecology. In this consumer age, the underlying teachings of Buddhist mindfulness offer more than individual well-being and resilience. They also offer new sources of critical inquiry into our collective condition, and may point, in time, to regulatory initiatives in the field of well-being.

This book draws together lively debates from the new economics of transition, commons and well-being, consumerism, and the emerging role of mindfulness in popular culture. Engaged Buddhist practices and teachings correspond closely to insights in contemporary political philosophical investigations into the nature of power, notably by Michel Foucault. The 'attention economy' can be understood as a new arena of struggle in our age of neoliberal governmentality; as the forces of enclosure – having colonized forests, land and the bodies of workers – are now extended to the realm of our minds and subjectivity. This poses questions about the recovery of the 'mindful commons': the practices we must cultivate to reclaim our attention, time and lives from the forces of capitalization. 

This is a valuable resource for students and scholars of environmental philosophy, environmental psychology, environmental sociology, well-being and new economics, political economy, environmental politics, the commons and law, as well as Buddhist theory and philosophy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Towards a ‘Mindful Commons’ – The Anthropocene and the Attention Revolution

Chapter 2. The Spirit of Activism: Non-Violence as a Way of Life

Chapter 3. The Cartesian Legacy

Chapter 4. Foucault, Zen and the Art of Challenging Consumerism

Chapter 5. Conclusions: Attention Deficit and Ecological Degradation Advance Together

About the Author

Peter Doran is a lecturer at the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainability

Sustainability has become one of the most pressing social, environmental, economic, cultural and political issues of our times. Yet the meaning of ‘sustainability’ remains elusive.

This series provides original insights from across the social sciences and humanities on the meaning and practice of sustainability. It offers both theoretical and practical analysis of ‘sustainability’, including social sustainability, sustainable consumption, democratic sustainability and sustainable behaviour.

These interdisciplinary books give students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners the latest thinking from international authors. This thought-provoking series draws on and is relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including environment, development, sociology, politics, philosophy, business and marketing, media, geography, and anthropology.

To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (Rebecca.Brennan@tandf.co.uk).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy