Rhetorical Activation of Workers: A Case Study in Neo-liberal Governance
In this chapter, we explore the effects of specific kinds of rhetorical work in the construction of new and more effective subjects within a contemporary neo-liberal regime of the provision of care. The chapter is inspired by the writings on techniques of governance in the later work of Michel Foucault (Security, territory, population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978. Palgrave MacMillan, Houndmills, 2007), Mitchell Dean (Critical and effective histories: Foucault’s methods and historical sociology. Routledge, London, 1994; Governmentality: power and rule in modern society. Sage, London, 1999) and Nikolas Rose (Powers of freedom: reframing political thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999). Drawing on data of language interactions between a manager and her workers at a nursing home for elderly people in Sweden, we explore a specific technique of invitation as it works to mobilize care workers in particular ways.
This technique, we argue, is linked to a wider regime of care, within contemporary discourses of new public management and new managerialism, which seek to govern by shaping active entrepreneurial workers.
KeywordsContact Person Elderly Care Staff Meeting Work Group Member Language Interaction
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