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André Weißenfels (Year 2016)


Products of Work: Hybrid Subjectivities of Employees in Tunisia

Products of Work: Hybrid Subjectivities of Employees in Tunisia

Contemporary organisation of work increasingly puts emphasis on utilising and forming employees' subjectivities. The 'subjectivisation of work' is part of an international managerial discourse that centres around aligning employees' needs, desires, and ideas about themselves with the interest of the firm. The employee is imagined not merely as a reluctant source of labour power but as a willing part of the enterprise. Around this idea are built certain managerial tools fostering 'intrinsic motivation' and competition which becomes the new name of the game – a game in which participants make their own choices and in which they are responsible to make the best of themselves.

In my research I am investigating how the lives of employees in a Tunisian company reflect the management rationale that is shaping their work place. Through an ethnography of a specific work place I hope to understand how forceful ideas about the functioning of human beings are adjusted, adopted, subverted, or challenged in every day lives. How do employees situate their work vis a vis the broader scope of their lives? How do they negotiate their own dreams, desires, and ideas of themselves with the management rationale they are facing mediated through the organisation of their work place? How do they incorporate abstract ideas, formed mainly in the discipline of economics, into their own complex and messy lives?


First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Cilja Haders

Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Schirin Amir-Moazami

Third Supervisor: Dr. Samuli Schielke