Hijacked categories: “Employability” an “disability” as tools for government

Ephemera is a pretty good journal. And here is a really cool article about the categories that make up our understanding of labour, employment and work. Categories structure the way we understand the world – they don’t just “reflect” it truthfully.  This is an important obvious fact that is, nevertheless, often swept under the carpet of quantitative research.  These categories are constructed and can be abused for various purposes. “Employability” and disability are examples of such categories which the authors call “technologies for government”. In the example in this article, the authors Christina Garsten and Kerstin Jacobsson talk about how “non-employable becomes a disability and conversely, to be disabled can make one employable.”

Sorting people in and out: The plasticity of the categories of employability, work capacity and disability as technologies of government, by Christina Garsten and Kerstin Jacobsson, Ephemera 13(4): 825-850

Best thing is, the article is freely accessible.http://www.ephemerajournal.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/contribution/13-4garstenjacobsson.pdf


Categories: Matters Mathematical, Sociological Craft

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