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The world of work and therapeutic culture

Grupa tematyczna

Agata Krasowska, University of Wroclaw
Katarzyna Waniek, University of Lodz 

This session is addressed to all those who explore the connections between the world of work and therapeutic culture as well as therapeutic discourse in their different configurations, at different levels and with different intensities. Taking as a starting point the findings of Nicolas Rose who claims that nowadays in liberal, democratic and capitalistic societies […] the stewardship of human conduct has become an inartistically psychological activity we seek submissions for papers that discuss the interaction between therapeutic culture and neoliberal form of governance that promotes self-realisation, self-responsibility, entrepreneurial self and creativity. Submissions that will focus on the impact of discipline and techniques of surveillance and subjugation on organizational practices and power relations. We are especially interested in biographical accounts and personal documents that expose the influence of the “psy”-sciences on individual experiences and the way people account for their everyday life practices, personal identity choices and biographical orientations – with particular emphasis on the sphere of work. It is also important for us to focus on and critically analyse different tools to identify and determine the nature and extent of the interplay between individual experiences and therapeutic culture that may be visible not only via its specific vocabulary. We are also interested in the following areas: 

  • the therapeutic spirit of neoliberalism: living and working in neoliberal management policies; 
  • therapeutic role of work; 
  • work efficiency and Generation Z’s approach to work; 
  • the neoliberal homo economicus: the idea of potential and entrepreneurship, which in capitalism defines who one is; 
  • creating yourself: maximizing the potential of individuals, life management and self-care; 
  • work as a tool for self-fulfilment and development of human capital for use on the labour market – the individual as capital in the labour market and self-fulfilment compulsion;  
  • the requirement to work intensively on yourself and develop your own agency at work; 
  • the idea of autotelic work, which does not result from any compulsion and is an extension of one’s own passions, and which masks the principle of efficiency; 
  • the idea of mobility as one of the most important ideas of capitalism encouraging mobility in order to seek attractive employment; 
  • the subsumption of work into capital, which is manifested in the contemporary organization of work, which has made the employee’s subjectivity the most valuable capital. It requires creativity, which extends to all areas of life, i.e. working on one’s own abilities and interpersonal relationships (primarily in the economic sense), increasing chances on the labour market. 


Sekcja Socjologii Pracy