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The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism$
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Catherine A. Rottenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Neoliberal Futurity and Generic Human Capital

Neoliberal Futurity and Generic Human Capital

(p.79) 3 Neoliberal Futurity and Generic Human Capital
The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism

Catherine Rottenberg

Oxford University Press

Drawing on claims made in Chapter 2, this chapter demonstrates how neoliberal feminism is producing a new form of neoliberal governmentality for young middle-class and “aspirational” women. This form of governmentality encourages women to carefully sequence their lives as well as to make smart self-investments in the present to ensure enhanced returns in the future. Providing two representative examples from the mainstream media—the glorification of college hookup culture and the new technology of egg freezing being offered as part of corporations’ benefits package—this chapter demonstrates how upwardly mobile middle-class women are being encouraged to invest in their professions first and to postpone maternity until some later point. Indeed, by encouraging these women to build their own portfolio and to self-invest in the years once thought of as the most “fertile,” neoliberal feminism is increasingly interpellating young middle-class women as generic rather than gendered human capital.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, futurity, work-family balance, happiness, egg freezing, hookup culture, Wendy Brown, human capital, reproduction, care work

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