Cold winds and warm attachments: Interrogating the personal attachment to neoliberal work and economy

Karel Musílek*, Kimberly Jamie, Linda McKie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The question of personal attachment to work in neoliberalism is subject to debate. Some scholars postulate that personal attachment to work based on durability, collectivity and predictability is weakening because of changes in its organisation; work ceases to provide the basis of subjectivity and identity. Conversely, others claim work, and neoliberal economic logic generally, pervades ever deeper into our lives, shapes our subjectivity, and incites personal and individualised attachments. This article describes four ways social scientists have understood personal attachments: entrepreneurship discourse; biocracy; approaches emphasising desire, lack and affect; and approaches highlighting the normative justifications and ethics of the self. It interrogates their theoretical underpinnings, empirical focus and points of confluence and difference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-525
Number of pages12
JournalWork, Employment And Society
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • affect
  • emotions
  • entrepreneurship
  • ethics
  • identity
  • individualisation
  • neoliberalism
  • organisation

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