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Networks of Capital

This section begins with Karl Marx coming to grips with capitalism and the emerging class-based social order. The introductory essay, entitled “Salvaging What Wall Street Left Behind,” invites us to ponder what Marx might have said about the recent global financial crisis and one of its key culprits—credit default swaps. Excerpts from The German Ideology and Manifesto of the Communist Party (both written with Friedrich Engels), along with pieces from Capital and the Manuscripts of 1844, introduce Marx’s ideas on historical materialism, commodity fetishism, and alienation. Contemporary extensions include Immanuel Wallerstein’s work on the capitalist world system, Pierre Bourdieu’s take on forms of capital beyond the economic, and a piece from Manuel Castells on the rise of the network society. The Wallerstein and Castells readings update Marx for the age of globalization, while Bourdieu brings us back down to the role cultural capital plays in shaping the “habitus” of the individual.


  • Network society
  • Time-space compression
  • World-systems
  • Cultural Capital
  • Fields
  • Habitus
  • Social reproduction
  • Capital
  • Commodity
  • Historical materialism
  • Labour theory of value

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