This lecture offers a feminist cultural studies perspective, influenced by the writing of both Stuart Hall and Lauren Berlant, on the re-configurations of the last decade which see precipitative encodings of public and popular culture. As the new maternalism shores up family life as human capital, as young women are exhorted to succeed by deploying resilience as a training regime, as consumer culture looks to forge its own feminist voice, to be compatible with recent gendered 'structures of feeling', so also does a new moral economy of work and employment emerge. Underlying these configurations is an ethos which envisages further dismantling of welfarism through the disavowal of dependency and the shaming of 'mismanaged lives'. There is opposition however against the 'cruel optimism' (Berlant) of public culture. The lecture also considers how these hegemonic cultural forces are having to re-scramble, now, in the light of the pandemic, so as to re-claim the ascendancy, where feminist anti-racist claims have been made for a new anti-debt and care-based transnational welfare imaginary.