Books by Jon Bailes
I have so far written two solo-authored books. My aim in each is to explore the different ways we understand and respond to the demands of today’s societies.
The first book is a short, accessible work that looks at modern life through the lens of video games. The second is an academic text in social theory, based on my doctoral research into ideology. Both books are available now.
Ideology and the Virtual City
Video Games, Power Fantasies and Neoliberalism
Jon Bailes, Zero Books, 2019
Ideology and the Virtual City is an exploration of modern society and the critical value of popular culture. Through an entertaining analysis of some of today’s most interesting video games, it details how neoliberal thinking dominates our political and cultural ideals.
The book takes readers into a series of simulated urban environments that reveal hidden social conflicts and outlandish power fantasies. It also examines how interactive entertainment can help us understand our relationship to neoliberal ‘common sense’. Or how we absorb its assumptions, and how we might question them.
“An instant classic for everyone who wants to understand not just games but our reality itself.” – Slavoj Žižek
“A timely and important book.” – Alfie Bown, author of The PlayStation Dreamworld
Consciousness and the Neoliberal Subject
A Theory of Ideology via Marcuse, Jameson and Žižek
Jon Bailes, Routledge, 2020
Consciousness and the Neoliberal Subject considers how ideology functions and outlines a range of modern ‘ideological positions’, or ways that individuals accept today’s social conditions. Through critical analysis of the social theories of Herbert Marcuse, Fredric Jameson, and Slavoj Žižek, it explores both our unconscious attachment to social relations, and the importance of conscious rationalisation in sustaining ideologies.
The book defines ideologies today in terms of how they conditionally internalise a neoliberal rationality, and details how entrenched social norms may be challenged through conscious engagement. Its conclusions should be of great interest to scholars whose research focuses on ideology, neoliberal culture, psychoanalysis and critical theory.