'Conduct of Conduct' or the Shaping of 'Adequate Dispositions'? Labour Market and Career Guidance in Four European Countries

Isabelle Darmon, Coralie Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-101
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • adaption
  • labour market coaching
  • liberal govermentality
  • resistance
  • Max Weber

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