Friday, 27 May 2016
Psychologising readiness for work
"Eligibility for social security benefits in many advanced economies is dependent on unemployed and underemployed people carrying out an expanding range of job search, training and work preparation activities, as well as mandatory unpaid labour (workfare). Increasingly, these activities include interventions intended to modify attitudes, beliefs and personality, notably through the imposition of positive affect."
"Labour on the self in order to achieve characteristics said to increase employability is now widely promoted. This work and the discourse on it are central to the experience of many claimants and contribute to the view that unemployment is evidence of both personal failure and psychological deficit. The use of psychology in the delivery of workfare functions to erase the experience and effects of social and economic inequalities, to construct a psychological ideal that links unemployment to psychological deficit, and so to authorise the extension of state—and state-contracted—surveillance to psychological characteristics."
This training begins in school where Curriculum for Excellence is supposed to equip children with the skills required for learning, life and work.
Children are encouraged to make individualised statements about their mental and emotional health such as: "I know that we all experience a variety of thoughts and emotions that affect how we feel and behave and I am learning ways of managing them."
Whilst being stripped of essential knowledge in the curriculum, there is an emphasis on confidence, self-esteem, resilience and motivation - as well as group think - for these are the attributes future employers are looking for. They also make children look inwards rather than outwards for explanations when things do not work out.