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The Work of Methodologies: Seminar 2

John Schostak j.schostak@mmu.ac.uk http://mmu.academia.edu/JohnSchosta k

Work as a central concept of radical research


Christophe Dejours reconceptualises Arendts labour, work and action division of the key human activities Arendt: each activity hierarchically organised
Labour meeting biological needs Work using tools, creating a world of artifacts Action political decision making about what kind of world to be created

Dejours: each activity included in work in a relation of equality Work as a place for the aggregation of powers

Reconceptualising work (Christophe Dejours)


The accomplishment of work requires co-operation and the communication of points of view as to its organisation, the solution of problems, the purposes of the work Thus there is a need for a space of discussion This prefigures public space(democratic) Work is a form of cooperative living togetherand prefigures democratic practice HOWEVER..

Key theme: creating the good society but how defined?


Creating the public through our powers of
work Triangulation of voices involved in co-working, which leads to Legitimisation of forms of organisation, validity and generalisation of what is produced as acts that are characterisable as Co-relationist (Meillasoux) or as intersubjectivitly shared worlds of consciousness (Husserl)

Crossroads of liberalism creates a point of crisis Inter-view (gaps appear in the view of the real)
Intentional networks
Intentionality: directedness towards ..

Inscribing Architectures of the social, to produce


The real(s) of social life as a stable structure?

Anti-democratic strategies managing theworkof the real


Prescribed organisation of work
Management by objectives, performance indicators, algorithms, schedules of procedures, measurement of outcomes .. new managerialism in the UK public sector

Realities of work precarity and resistance


Filling in the gaps taking on responsibility at own risk Overcoming problems Threat of the work to rule: manifesting realities of work

The gap between prescription and reality is typically a source of pain, suffering as work becomes intensified, risky, precarious, results in The Phantom Public (Lippmann 1927); Behavioural Insight Unit (UK)

Body techniques & education


In all these elements of the art of using the human body, the facts of education were dominant. The notion of education could be superimposed on that of imitation. For there are particular children with very strong intuitive faculties, others with weak ones, but all of them go through the same education, such that we can understand the continuity of the concatenations. What takes place is prestigious imitation. The child, the adult, imitates actions which have succeeded and which he has seen successfully performed by people in whom he has confidence and who have authority over him. The action is imposed from without, from above, even if it is an exclusively biological action, involving his body. The individual borrows the series of movements which constitute it from the action executed in front of him or with him by others. (Mauss 1973 :73)

The ideal structure (closed)

From: Schostak, J.F. (2002) Understanding, Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education. Framing the Project. Open University Press

The war of the Private and the Public


Neoliberalism dominance of the private Crisis of the public
Banality of evil Everyday toleration of the intolerable

Destruction of collective action Destruction of community under the name of Big Society The phantom public (Lippmann 1927)

Theres class warfare, all right Mr Buffett said, but its my class, the rich class, thats making war, and were winning.
Warren Buffett, was at the time, 3rd richest person in the world The critical focus is on the role of work in society, in particular, the dirty work of hard decision makers, macho management.

Co-option of Research and Theory


Economic
Market ideology (greed, competition) Evolutionary, survival of the fittest

Political
Friend-enemy: Capitalism, Socialism Enemy within

Socio-psychological
Public relations and the manufacture of consent

When George Osborne linked the sickening case of Mick Philpott now jailed for the manslaughter of six of his own children in a house fire he started to the state of Britain's benefits system, he knew what he was doing. A student of US politics, he was deploying a favoured technique of the American right, honed during the decades-long culture wars. Dip your hands in the slime of an episode that stirs revulsion and smear it all over your opponent. In the role of Willie Horton the rapist notoriously used by Bush the elder to discredit Michael Dukakis enter Mick Philpott. Message: if you hate him and what he did, then you ought to hate the "benefits culture" and the Labour party that supports it.

(Freedland 2013; Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/05/labourdraw-sting-welfare-or-lose-2015 )

Evaluation and the plurality of Pictures in the mind


Lippmann advocated the manufacture of consent by working on peoples pictures of the world that they held in their heads. Drawing on this, Bernays believed: Ours must be a leadership democracy administered by the intelligent minority who know how to regiment and guide the masses. (Bernays 1928: 127)

Dirty work of management


Making hard decisions
Cutting corners Pressuring workers Making redundancies/lay-offs

Requiring: Virility (macho management in taking hard desions) not courage Toleration of the intolerable
Thus a particular kind of subejctivity, subjugation and becoming a subject-of, is created

What is the dirty work of research, theory and the professional? Creating the conditions for predictable behaviour

The real structure: a stealth architecture


Competing interest groups

Alternative practices

Different resourcing

Unpredictable outcomes

From: Schostak, J.F. (2002) Understanding, Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education. Framing the Project. Open University Press

Architecture of the social