This panel seeks to explore the recent transformations of individuals' relationship between 'self,' 'body' and 'commercial exchange' and resistances to the expansion of intensified commodification covering all aspects of our selves (e.g. bodies, body parts, sexuality, personality, emotions, affect).
In neoliberal capitalism with the sharpening of economic inequalities, an all life encompassing expansion of the sphere of the economic, and a general trend of 'disenchantment' or 'cultural cooling,' intimate exchanges have increasingly come to resemble other forms of utilitarian transactions, even within private-sphere, nonmarket exchanges. It is precisely the extension of market logics to the realm of the personal and intimate that brings about an increased imaginability to the use of the body, sexuality and intimacy as a resource for economic advancement. Commercialised intimate exchanges have experienced not only a diversification in contemporary capitalism but also a 'new respectability' as a result of which a broader range of subjects from a variety of social backgrounds now participate in commercial transactions, trading body parts or bodily substances, intimacy and sexuality. Market logics have not only made the commercial demand of personal and intimate services more acceptable, but also individuals' commodification of their bodies and intimacies. These changes stand in relation to the emergence and impact of the service economy in contemporary capitalism, and subsequent conceptual transformations of individuals' relationship between 'self,' 'body' and 'commercial exchange.' This panel seeks to examine how attitudes towards marketability and practices of commodification have changed over the past two decades. Also welcome are explorations of changed notions of selfhood and of existing or emerging resistances against the expansion of intensified commodification covering all aspects of our selves (e.g. bodies, body parts, sexuality, personality, emotions, affect).