Brains, Media and Politics: Generating Neoliberal Subjects, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Brains, Media and Politics

Generating Neoliberal Subjects, 1st Edition

By Rodolfo Leyva


240 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367030339
pub: 2019-12-10
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Following the 2007-08 global financial crisis a number of prominent academics, journalists, and activists, underestimating the extent to which neoliberalism has shaped the 21st century world order and become entrenched in our socio-political and cognitive fabric, were quick to pronounce the demise of neoliberal capitalism. So far, in spite of significant levels of socioeconomic inequality and environmental destruction generated by neoliberal policies, the ideological hegemony of neoliberalism has not been supplanted, nor really faced any serious unsettling. How, then, has neoliberalism inflected and shaped our ‘common sense’ understandings of what is politically, economically and culturally viable? This book combines leading theories from sociology, media-communications, developmental psychology and cognitive science, and draws on primary evidence from a unique mix of qualitative and quantitative studies - of young people’s leisure practices and educational experiences, of young adults’ political processes in relation to exposure to social networking sites, and of the effects of commercial media viewing on material values and support for social welfare - to provide a nuanced account of how the conscious and non-conscious cognitive dimensions of people’s subjectivities and everyday social practices contribute to the macro processes of neoliberal reproduction. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in neoliberalism, political engagement and social attitudes.


"Rudy Leyva shows, in a model of cumulative scholarship, that watching programmes glorifying materialism and the rich makes people more selfish, less critical of inequality, more punitive in their attitudes to welfare and less concerned with hyper-consumption. A fearless, crucially important and scary book - lucid and engagingly written too." - Ian Gough, Visiting Professor, CASE, LSE, UK; author of Heat, Greed and Human Need.

Table of Contents


1. Homo Economicus & The Neoliberal Society

2. Neoliberal Cognition, Subjectification, & Reproduction

3. Reproducing Neoliberalism in Everyday Life: A Cross-National Ethnographic Study

4. How New Media Help Generate Neoliberal Subjectivities: A Survey Study

5. Experimental Insights into Mass Media’s Cultivation of A Neoliberal Habitus

6. A Cognitive-Sociological Theory of Neoliberal Reproduction

About the Author

Rodolfo Leyva is a fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Political Sociology

This series presents the latest research in political sociology. It welcomes both theoretical and empirical studies that pay close attention to the dynamics of power, popular protest and social movements, as well as work that engages in debates surrounding globalisation, democracy and political economy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General