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Benjamin Lee - Author

About the Author

Benjamin Lee is editor of Shortlist.com and has written for the Guardian. Since 2010 he has run the hugely popular @MiddleClassProb Twitter account.

Featured books by Benjamin Lee

Middle Class Problems Problems but Not Real Actual Problems, Just Middle Class Ones

Middle Class Problems Problems but Not Real Actual Problems, Just Middle Class Ones

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/12/2014

This is a collection of real-life inconveniences faced by the iPhone-losing, polenta-burning, Eurostar-missing middle classes. While 870 million people in the world suffer from starvation, it's worth sparing a thought for the beleaguered and misunderstood middle classes who face similarly harrowing issues every day. 'My horse just ate my favourite boots' 'Feel like I've forgotten how to ski' 'Put too much balsamic vinegar on my salad and now I'm dying' From overcooking the quinoa to downloading the wrong book to the wrong kindle, things can get pretty rough in the recently renovated homes of our harangued elite. Fortunately, they can now turn to Twitter in their distress, finding a haven and a natural outlet in @MiddleClassProb, where Benjamin Lee has been collecting our most hilarious cris de coeur since 2010.

Other books by Benjamin Lee

Derivatives and the Wealth of Societies

Derivatives and the Wealth of Societies

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/12/2016

Derivatives were responsible for one of the worst financial meltdowns we have ever seen, one from which we have not yet fully recovered. However, they are likewise capable of generating some of the most incredible wealth we have ever seen. This book asks how we might ensure the latter while avoiding the former. Looking past the usual arguments for the regulation or abolition of derivative finance, it asks a more probing question: what kinds of social institutions and policies would we need to put in place to both avail ourselves of the derivative's wealth production and make sure that production benefits all of us? To answer that question, the contributors to this book draw upon their deep backgrounds in finance, social science, art, and the humanities to create a new way of understanding derivative finance that does justice to its social and cultural dimensions. They offer a two-pronged analysis. First, they develop a social understanding of the derivative that casts it in the light of anthropological concepts such as the gift, ritual, play, dividuality, and performativity. Second, they develop a derivative understanding of the social, using financial concepts such as risk, hedging, optionality, and arbitrage to uncover new dimensions of contemporary social reality. In doing so, they construct a necessary, renewed vision of derivative finance as a deeply embedded aspect not just of our economics but our culture.

Derivatives and the Wealth of Societies

Derivatives and the Wealth of Societies

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/11/2016

Derivatives were responsible for one of the worst financial meltdowns we have ever seen, one from which we have not yet fully recovered. However, they are likewise capable of generating some of the most incredible wealth we have ever seen. This book asks how we might ensure the latter while avoiding the former. Looking past the usual arguments for the regulation or abolition of derivative finance, it asks a more probing question: what kinds of social institutions and policies would we need to put in place to both avail ourselves of the derivative's wealth production and make sure that production benefits all of us? To answer that question, the contributors to this book draw upon their deep backgrounds in finance, social science, art, and the humanities to create a new way of understanding derivative finance that does justice to its social and cultural dimensions. They offer a two-pronged analysis. First, they develop a social understanding of the derivative that casts it in the light of anthropological concepts such as the gift, ritual, play, dividuality, and performativity. Second, they develop a derivative understanding of the social, using financial concepts such as risk, hedging, optionality, and arbitrage to uncover new dimensions of contemporary social reality. In doing so, they construct a necessary, renewed vision of derivative finance as a deeply embedded aspect not just of our economics but our culture.

Middle Class Problems Problems but Not Real Actual Problems, Just Middle Class Ones

Middle Class Problems Problems but Not Real Actual Problems, Just Middle Class Ones

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/12/2014

This is a collection of real-life inconveniences faced by the iPhone-losing, polenta-burning, Eurostar-missing middle classes. While 870 million people in the world suffer from starvation, it's worth sparing a thought for the beleaguered and misunderstood middle classes who face similarly harrowing issues every day. 'My horse just ate my favourite boots' 'Feel like I've forgotten how to ski' 'Put too much balsamic vinegar on my salad and now I'm dying' From overcooking the quinoa to downloading the wrong book to the wrong kindle, things can get pretty rough in the recently renovated homes of our harangued elite. Fortunately, they can now turn to Twitter in their distress, finding a haven and a natural outlet in @MiddleClassProb, where Benjamin Lee has been collecting our most hilarious cris de coeur since 2010.

Cultural Analysis in an Age of Globalization

Cultural Analysis in an Age of Globalization

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: eBook Release Date: 06/05/2014

Cultural Analysis in an Age of Globalization draws upon contemporary work in anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, and literary theory to analyze the rise of speculative capital and its role in a global shift from production-centered to circulation-centered capitalism.

Developmental Approaches to the Self

Developmental Approaches to the Self

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/10/2011

Each of the three great schools of developmental psy- chology represented in this vo1ume--psychoana1ytic, cogni- tive-developmental, and Vygotskian--diverges in important ways. But more recent changes in each discipline have led to new possibilities for theoretical integrations. Each ori- entation has begun to focus upon the problem of meaning construction , that is, how a person's subjectivity and con- sciousness is created through his interaction with signifi- cant others. Each discipline also discovered that as it switched to meaning and interpretation as the foci of their work, they had to reformulate and, in some cases, reject po- sitions taken by their founding figures. The papers in this volume attempt to describe the newest developments in each of these fields and to foster a theoretical dialogue around the concept of the self. The papers in this book emerged out of discussions at a Conference on the Self, sponsored by the Center for Psychosocial Studies in Chicago. For the psychoanalytic and cognitive-developmental ap- proaches, we can observe a transition from what we call the bio10gism of both traditional Freudian and Piagetian memta- psychologies to a more communicative-interactionist point of view. Psychoanalysts have focused on the subjective expe- rience of their patients as constituting a reality in its own right, and therefore have always focused upon problems of communication and interpretation. But Freud's emphasis on bio-sexua1 development led him to create a metapsycho1ogy in which the basic organizing principle is that of drive re- duction.

Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk

Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk

Author: Benjamin Lee, Edward LiPuma Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2004

The market for financial derivatives is far and away the largest and most powerful market in the world, and it is growing exponentially. In 1970 the yearly valuation of financial derivatives was only a few million dollars. By 1980 the sum had swollen to nearly one hundred million dollars. By 1990 it had climbed to almost one hundred billion dollars, and in 2000 it approached one hundred trillion. Created and sustained by a small number of European and American banks, corporations, and hedge funds, the derivatives market has an enormous impact on the economies of nations-particularly poorer nations-because it controls the price of money. Derivatives bought and sold by means of computer keystrokes in London and New York affect the price of food, clothing, and housing in Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, and Buenos Aires. Arguing that social theorists concerned with globalization must familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of a world economy based on the rapid circulation of capital, Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee offer a concise introduction to financial derivatives.LiPuma and Lee explain how derivatives are essentially wagers-often on the fluctuations of national currencies-based on models that aggregate and price risk. They describe how these financial instruments are changing the face of capitalism, undermining the power of nations and perpetrating a new and less visible form of domination on postcolonial societies. As they ask: How does one know about, let alone demonstrate against, an unlisted, virtual, offshore corporation that operates in an unregulated electronic space using a secret proprietary trading strategy to buy and sell arcane financial instruments? LiPuma and Lee provide a necessary look at the obscure but consequential role of financial derivatives in the global economy.

Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk

Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk

Author: Benjamin Lee, Edward LiPuma Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/2004

The market for financial derivatives is far and away the largest and most powerful market in the world, and it is growing exponentially. In 1970 the yearly valuation of financial derivatives was only a few million dollars. By 1980 the sum had swollen to nearly one hundred million dollars. By 1990 it had climbed to almost one hundred billion dollars, and in 2000 it approached one hundred trillion. Created and sustained by a small number of European and American banks, corporations, and hedge funds, the derivatives market has an enormous impact on the economies of nations-particularly poorer nations-because it controls the price of money. Derivatives bought and sold by means of computer keystrokes in London and New York affect the price of food, clothing, and housing in Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, and Buenos Aires. Arguing that social theorists concerned with globalization must familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of a world economy based on the rapid circulation of capital, Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee offer a concise introduction to financial derivatives.LiPuma and Lee explain how derivatives are essentially wagers-often on the fluctuations of national currencies-based on models that aggregate and price risk. They describe how these financial instruments are changing the face of capitalism, undermining the power of nations and perpetrating a new and less visible form of domination on postcolonial societies. As they ask: How does one know about, let alone demonstrate against, an unlisted, virtual, offshore corporation that operates in an unregulated electronic space using a secret proprietary trading strategy to buy and sell arcane financial instruments? LiPuma and Lee provide a necessary look at the obscure but consequential role of financial derivatives in the global economy.

New Imaginaries

New Imaginaries

Author: Benjamin Lee, Benjamin Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/02/2002

How do ordinary people identify themselves as part of a group? By what means do they express a largely unspoken understanding of themselves in society? This special issue on new social imaginaries examines the emergent forms of solidarity and collective identity in a global context. The essays explore how local cultural forms and global social movements contribute to the making and unmaking of imagined collective identities.Contributors to this collection include major voices in the fields of philosophy, critical literature, sociology, anthropology, and communication studies. The articles consider how people conceive of and categorize themselves as part of a cohesive group under the multiple rubrics of the public and counterpublic, nation, ethnos, civilization, genealogy, democracy, and the market. Many of the essays are situated in specific national and cultural sites such as Africa, Australia, eighteenth-century England, the European Union, India, and Turkey. Others examine the intersections of global financial markets and democratic institutions. As a whole, New Imaginaries suggests a new way of synthesizing economic, political, and cultural approaches to social life. Contributors. Arjun Appadurai, Craig Calhoun, Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Nilufer Goele, Benjamin Lee, Edward LiPuma, Achille Mbembe, Mary Poovey, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Charles Taylor, Michael Warner

Talking Heads Language, Metalanguage, and the Semiotics of Subjectivity

Talking Heads Language, Metalanguage, and the Semiotics of Subjectivity

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/1997

In Talking Heads, Benjamin Lee situates himself at the convergence of multiple disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and literary theory. He offers a nuanced exploration of the central questions shared by these disciplines during the modern era-questions regarding the relations between language, subjectivity, community, and the external world. Scholars in each discipline approach these questions from significantly different angles; in seeking to identify and define the intersection of these angles, Lee argues for the development of a new sense of subjectivity, a construct that has repercussions of immense importance beyond the humanities and into the area of politics. Talking Heads synthesizes the views and works of a breathtaking range of the most influential modern theorists of the humanities and social sciences, including Austin, Searle, Derrida, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Wittgenstein, Peirce, Frege, Kripke, Donnellan, Putnam, Saussure, and Whorf. After illuminating these many strands of thought, Lee moves beyond disciplinary biases and re-embeds within the context of the public sphere the questions of subjectivity and language raised by these theorists. In his examination of how subjectivity relates not just to grammatical patterns but also to the specific social institutions in which these patterns develop and are sustained, Lee discusses such topics as the concept of public opinion and the emergence of Western nation-states.

Talking Heads Language, Metalanguage, and the Semiotics of Subjectivity

Talking Heads Language, Metalanguage, and the Semiotics of Subjectivity

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/1997

In Talking Heads, Benjamin Lee situates himself at the convergence of multiple disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and literary theory. He offers a nuanced exploration of the central questions shared by these disciplines during the modern era-questions regarding the relations between language, subjectivity, community, and the external world. Scholars in each discipline approach these questions from significantly different angles; in seeking to identify and define the intersection of these angles, Lee argues for the development of a new sense of subjectivity, a construct that has repercussions of immense importance beyond the humanities and into the area of politics. Talking Heads synthesizes the views and works of a breathtaking range of the most influential modern theorists of the humanities and social sciences, including Austin, Searle, Derrida, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Wittgenstein, Peirce, Frege, Kripke, Donnellan, Putnam, Saussure, and Whorf. After illuminating these many strands of thought, Lee moves beyond disciplinary biases and re-embeds within the context of the public sphere the questions of subjectivity and language raised by these theorists. In his examination of how subjectivity relates not just to grammatical patterns but also to the specific social institutions in which these patterns develop and are sustained, Lee discusses such topics as the concept of public opinion and the emergence of Western nation-states.

Semiotics, Self, and Society

Semiotics, Self, and Society

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/1989

Developmental Approaches to the Self

Developmental Approaches to the Self

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/1983

Psychosocial Theories of the Self Proceedings of a Conference on New Approaches to the Self, held March 29-April 1, 1979, by the Center for Psychosocial Studies, Chicago, Illinois

Psychosocial Theories of the Self Proceedings of a Conference on New Approaches to the Self, held March 29-April 1, 1979, by the Center for Psychosocial Studies, Chicago, Illinois

Author: Benjamin Lee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/1982

Benjamin Lee Center for Psychosocial Studies On March 29-April 1, 1979, the Center for Psychosocial Studies held a conference in Chicago on New Approaches to the Self in which all the authors in this volume partici- pated. Over the years the Center has acted as a communica- tions link and coordination point for interdisciplinary dis- cussions and research. Several years ago, we discovered that there was a renewed interest among psychoanalysts, anthro- pologists, and developmental psychologists in the investiga- tion of the self, and the reason for this groundswell of ac- tivity was the discovery of the importance of problems of meaning and interpretation in each discipline. Since inves- tigators in each of these disciplines were relatively ignor- ant of developments in the other approaches, we felt that a conference would be a timely catalyst. Each of the authors gave a presentation at the conference, and it is a mark of the success of the interdisciplinary effort that almost all the papers were extensively revised in response to the dis- cussions. The first three papers by Arnold Goldberg, Ernest Wolf, and Robert LeVine all use Heinz Kohut's psychoanalytic self psychology as their starting point. Goldberg places the self within a broader framework of philosophical and psychoana- lytic theories, finally locating it in the types of communi- cative relationships a person constructs in his interactions with others. Wolf's paper explicates the basic ideas and innovations of Kohut's self psychology.

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