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The economics of fear, the politics of hope, and the perversity of happiness

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This article shows how, even in the context of economic crisis, sex is the embodiment of morality in US public discourse. Because of the ways that secular freedom holds together political economy and a politics of sexuality, both religious affect and secular psychoanalysis have become organized around a correlation between morality and sexual practice. Through a brief genealogy of conscience the essay offers perverse happiness as a point of ethical affect that is not trapped in this modern morality play of sexuality.

Keywords: conscience; economics; ethics; perverse happiness; religion; secularism; sex

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07407700903034188

Affiliations: Center for Research on Women, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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