introduction
neoliberal citizenship:
the governmentality of rights
and consumer culture
V
This is a book about the production of middle-class Asian Indian and
American subjects in the 1990s. As I seek to understand the changing
relationship between politics, culture, and the market, my interest lies in
the connections between feminism, new social movements, consumer cul-
ture, citizenship, and knowledge formation. In particular, this book focuses
on the subjects and identities that grew out of the knowledges produced by
feminisms, nationalisms of various sorts, forms of governmentality and
disciplinary power, and consumer culture. I approach this set of issues by
analyzing the circulations and travels of South Asian Indians between India
and the United States, probing how gendered knowledge formations pro-
duced nationally and transnationally created identity and subjectivity at the
end of the twentieth century. Through these circulations, I explore how
gender, ethnicity, and consumer identity became entangled within both
national and transnational formations. Within this entanglement, biopoli-
tics and geopolitics came together along with disciplinary and governmen-
tal technologies to create neoliberal subjects. It is in this dissemination of
neoliberalism, along with its assemblage of disciplinary power and govern-
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