From paper to plastic: electronic benefits transfer as technology of neoliberalization
This analysis refocuses attention to the relationship between neoliberal government practice and co-conditioning rhetorical consequence through examination of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). Operating by a plastic card similar to consumer debit cards, EBT opens new possibilities of consumption for those receiving Food Stamps. Rather than simply signaling a disciplining governmentality, electronic food assistance functions as a technology of neoliberalization, proffering the potentiality of social equity while (re)instantiating class boundaries. I appropriate the finance term securitization to specify the disposal of liberalist logics that transform the poor from economic risk to state asset while also leaving the conditions of poverty and food insecurity unchallenged.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (2016), available online at: http:dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2016.1194521.