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Resetting Minds and Souls: Language, Employability and the Making of Neoliberal Subjects

Del Percio, A; Wong, SWV; (2019) Resetting Minds and Souls: Language, Employability and the Making of Neoliberal Subjects. In: Martin Rojo, L and Del Percio, A, (eds.) Language and Neoliberal Governmentality - Chapter 9. (pp. 1-21). Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon. Green open access

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Abstract

In this chapter, we present an ethnographic documentation of an employment program that is provided by a charity located in East London. We generate a critical understanding of the ways these programs contribute to the governmentality of poverty and unemployed subjects in London. This paper then argues that the investigated employability program strives to disrupt poverty and unemployment through a set of disciplining techniques that target the individuals’ minds and souls. We will show that, these techniques are anchored in larger histories of knowledge about, and discipline of, “poverty” and the “poor”. In the same time, we will show that that the investigated program is emblematic for a form of neoliberal governmentality that asks the participating subjects to understand their subjectivity in terms of quality, competitiveness and freedom. We will finally argue that the complex set of ideas informing this training program do not determine the actions or thinking of the participating subjects. This neoliberal rational is rather mobilized, rationalized and dialectically engaged with on the ground by (some of) the unemployed subjects who contest this program’s ability to promote their access to jobs and socioeconomic inclusion.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Resetting Minds and Souls: Language, Employability and the Making of Neoliberal Subjects
ISBN-13: 9781138575226
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.routledge.com/Language-and-Neoliberal-...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068176
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