I return to Foucault’s (1989, 9) prescient words with which I began.
For, just as this book took a direction unknown to me at the outset, so
too are the women and men I have briefly introduced charting new
and unexpected paths of work, self- exploration and discovery. Their
entrepreneurial journeys span the market and the private spheres:
they highlight an increasingly ambiguous and intertwining relation-
ship of labor and life, work and subjectivity, as affective labor and
affective life become heightened throughout. These trajectories led
me into unexpected territory both empirically and theoretically, from
traditional businesses to new charismatic churches and venues for
leisure and holistic healing, from political economy to affect theory
and the anthropology of emotion. In some sense the explorations
bring together two strands of inquiry that I have long kept separate
in my own thinking—the political economy tradition in which I was
trained, and the psychological habitus, in which I was raised. This
separation has been comfortably upheld for some twenty years in
which I have worked on this small, respectable, conservative island.
The theoretical toolkits of Marx, Foucault, and Bourdieu were well
suited to interpreting the twists and turns of late capitalism, and I
knew to keep any psychological leanings under wraps in a culture
more at home with structural relations of power and position than
matters of subjectivity and interiority.
For the entrepreneurs whose stories I have collected and lives I
have observed, these new paths are not individual quests alone; they