1st Edition

A World without Capitalism? Alternative Discourses, Spaces, and Imaginaries

By Christian W. Chun Copyright 2022
    200 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this book, Christian W. Chun examines the ways in which identities, discourses, and topographies of both capitalist and anti-capitalist imaginaries and realities are embodied in the everyday practices of people. A World without Capitalism? is a sociolinguistic ethnography that explores the heretofore limited research in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics on the discursive and materialized representations and enactments of capitalism.

    Engaging across disciplinary fields, including applied linguistics, ethnography, political economy, philosophy, and cultural studies, Chun investigates in ethnographic detail how capitalism does and does not pervade people’s everyday experiences. This book aims to further contribute to a much-needed understanding of how discourses operate in the co-constructions of capitalist and anti-capitalist imaginaries and instantiated realities and practices as narrated, lived, and embodied by people and material artifacts.

    This book is vital reading for students and researchers working in the fields of applied linguistics, discourse analysis, and cultural studies, as well as those interested in understanding capitalism and questioning how to live beyond it.

    List of figures


    Chapter One: A world without capitalism?

    Chapter Two: The spectral realities of capitalism

    Chapter Three: What’s in a name: working or ‘middle’ class?

    Chapter Four: The crucial role of race in American capitalism

    Chapter Five: "Working for the clampdown"

    Chapter Six: Workplaces, the city, and the world

    Chapter Seven: The socio-spatialities of capital: urban landscapes and alternative imaginaries

    Chapter Eight: What is to be done?




    Christian W. Chun is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the author of Power and Meaning Making in an EAP Classroom: Engaging with the Everyday (2015) and The Discourses of Capitalism: Everyday Economists and the Production of Common Sense (2017).

    With the vast and often terrible panorama of US capitalism as a backdrop, in this book Christian Chun demonstrates yet again not only his great erudition and insight, but also why he is every good-thinking person’s public revolutionary. Chun deftly unpicks the contradictions of capitalist life and in the everyday experiences of people’s labour under capitalism uncovers a shared vision and humanity that is both counter-hegemonic as well as potentially radically transforming. A work for our times.

    John P. O’Regan, University College London, UK