Enyoguizados/as : modos de ser y estar emergentes en la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (y su encuentro con el neoliberalismo contemporáneo)


Wortman, Ana Lisa




227 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




This thesis addresses the mass consumption of goods and services associated with yoga and meditation among urban sectors that identify with the middle classes, as a trait of emergent subjectivity in the 21st century and as part of the cultural landscape of Buenos Aires city. The research focuses on the expansion of yoga practices and the proliferation of its surrounding discourses, oriented to the advancement of a lifestyle that promotes internal growth, pause, mindfulness and the idea that well-being is a personal issue attainable to anyone.

The object of the study explores the type of subjectivity shaped and expected by the capitalist social order at its current stage. With the intention of contributing to the characterization of contemporary urban life, strongly signified by the culture of connectivity, the thesis explores the expansion of lifestyles associated with a renewed spirituality among the inhabitants of Buenos Aires with higher education. In recent years, the city became the stage where practices such as yoga, meditation and breathing courses were rapidly disseminated, along with a new eruption of astrology —strengthened and contesting the throne to psychoanalysis— and the dissemination of a nutritional culture that proclaims a healthy, organic, mindful and personalized diet.

After developing multiple hypothesis to understand the boom of yoga and meditation in Buenos Aires, the thesis addresses the intersection between the yoga universe and the neoliberal culture, identifying convergences and even some uses of yoga and meditation from the realm of public policy and political communication.

The analysis of the spiritual practices and discourses that make up the "Yoga universe" in Buenos Aires city aims to explore the connections between social and subjective dimensions, in the context of short-term capitalism. It is a universe in which the subjectivity supported by the neoliberal culture is unfold without tension, legitimized in the escape of rigidity, the constant emphasis on the present, the exaltation of entrepreneurism, the strong focus on the notions of autonomy, flexibility and freedom and the idea of an individual that creatively challenges risks and uncertainties.

With regard to the possible juncture of the new spirituality with the passi ve reception of an unequal social reality, the study looks at certain precepts promoted as a way of life: the acceptance of reality as presented to us”, the invitation to “witness what happens in our minds and in our bodies, without getting involved with what we perceive”, the idea of the soul as an ontological ground that overthrown actions (“I am not my body nor am I my actions, I am just an eternal soul”), the search for an emotional state that dissolves the past (and also the future), with the purpose of bringing consciousness to the present, the encounter with the self.

The study proposes that the approach to spiritual cultural practices and goods operates as counterweight and acceptance, simultaneously. That is, the discourses and spiritual practice s of mass consumption that have been spreading in the great urban centers balance the turmoil of post-modern societies and, at the same time, promote a social order that is based on the individual subjective desire and personal experience, converging with the neoliberal cultural and economic model.

Each of the explanatory lines of thought that are explored to understand the boom of a new spirituality in Buenos Aires city, as well as the identified points of intersection between spiritual practices and neoliberal culture, can be considered elements that outline the contemporary profile of the urban sectors identified with the middle classes. Personal biographies and sociocultural configurations are coupled by enhancing certain trends, illuminating certain circuits, favoring the rise of a new type of leadership, stimulating forms of interaction and a way of inhabiting cities where the social issues are overshadowed by the advancement of individual wellbeing.

Título obtenido

Doctora en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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