In this paper, we provide an analysis of the deployment of labour market and career guidance as an instrument of liberal governmental rationality, and hence as a key tool for shaping attitudes suitable for the labour market. We characterize such processes and their effects on both those in receipt of guidance and those delivering it, on the basis of a three-year study in France, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. This leads us to put forward the problematic character of the notion of ‘conduct of conduct’, especially owing to the conflation implied between adaptation to governmental ends and freedom. We suggest that Max Weber’s categories for depicting active adaptation in bureaucratic capitalism provide a more grounded grasp of the processes involved, and that the radical distinction he establishes between adaptation and the possibility of conduct may provide a new basis for conceptualizing resistance to liberal governmental rationality.
|Journal||Critical Social Policy|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
- labour market coaching
- liberal govermentality
- Max Weber