Neoliberal governmentality, knowledge work, and thumos

Show simple item record Hofmeyr, Augusta Benda 2022-09-01T12:43:49Z 2022-09-01T12:43:49Z 2021-11-20
dc.description.abstract Research has shown that the knowledge worker, the decisive driver of the knowledge economy, works increasingly longer hours. In fact, it would appear that instead of working to live, they live to work. There appears to be three reasons for this living-to-work development. First, the knowledge worker ‘has to’ on account of the pressure to become ever more efficient. Such pressure translates into internalized coercion in the case of the self-responsible knowledge worker. Secondly, working is constant, because the Internet and smart technologies and mobile devices have made it ‘possible’. It gives the worker the capacity and management omnipotent control. In the final instance, the neoliberal knowledge worker works all the time because s/he paradoxically ‘wants to’. It is a curious phenomenon, because this compulsive working is concomitant with a rise of a host of physical, emotional, and psychological disorders as well as the erosion of social bonds. The paradox is exacerbated by the fact that the knowledge worker does not derive any of the usual utilities or satisfactions associated with hard work. Elsewhere I have ascribed this apparent contradiction at the heart of the living-to-work phenomenon to the invisible thumotic satisfaction generated by knowledge work. In the present article, I argue that neoliberal governmentality has found a way to tether thumos directly to the profit incentive. I draw on Foucault’s 1978-1979 Collége de France lecture course in which he analysed neoliberal governmentality with specific emphasis on the work of the neoliberal theorist of human capital, Gary Becker. en_US
dc.description.department Philosophy en_US
dc.description.librarian am2022 en_US
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.identifier.citation Hofmeyr, A.B. 2021, 'Neoliberal governmentality, knowledge work, and thumos', Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 14, no. 1-2, pp. 33-62, doi : 10.46298/JPE.8662. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1843-2298 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1844-8208(online)
dc.identifier.other 10.46298/JPE.8662
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Editura ASE en_US
dc.rights Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA. en_US
dc.subject Neoliberalism en_US
dc.subject Governmentality en_US
dc.subject Human capital en_US
dc.subject Biopolitics en_US
dc.subject Control en_US
dc.subject Foucault en_US
dc.subject Becker en_US
dc.subject Thumos en_US
dc.subject Labour en_US
dc.subject Knowledge worker en_US
dc.title Neoliberal governmentality, knowledge work, and thumos en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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