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Governing elderly care workers: A technology of activation and technique of invitation
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Vuxenutbildning och Folkbildning)
University of Stirling.
2010 (English)In: SCRUTEA: Standing conference on university teaching and research in the education of adults / [ed] Barbara Merrill & Paul Armstrong, Warwick: University of Warwick , 2010, 111-117 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

European and national policies on employment strategies and education position in-service training and workplace education as essential in creating an employable workforce that can contribute to the economic growth of a region or country (EC, 2001, Ministry of Social Affairs 2007). The worker her/himself is positioned as active in realising such aims. Policies are written in ideal terms and suggest that everyone would benefit from active contribution. Policies are part of a politics that aims to activate citizens to shape themselves into that which is desirable (Dahlstedt 2009). In this paper, we turn our attention to how this politics of activation operates within work practices in elderly care homes to see how and by what means care workers are shaped and fostered. We are concerned with wider practices and rationalities that shape and maintain dispositions of a particular kind and their relation to the work of in-service training and workplace education.

We draw on empirical data from twenty-one semi-structured interviews (Kvale 1996) with a total of thirty-one health care assistants, licensed practices nurses, managers and teachers working at six nursing homes for elderly people and at three different educational providers. Fifteen interviews were individual, and six were group interviews conducted with two to five interviewees together. The interviews are complemented with observations conducted at one of the nursing homes over a period of ten months. In analysing what goes on our focus is on the regularities of the descriptions made, how these regularities are made possible and relation of the self to the self and subjectivities shaped through them.

Inspired by the later work of Michel Foucault (2007) and his notions of governmentality and technologies of the self, we trace the organized practices and forms of rationality, techniques and programmes aimed at shaping and fostering the care worker. We see how these have become institutionalized, explore them for the conditions that make them possible and consider their consequences as the exercise of power. We draw from Dean (1999) in asking how it has become possible for such a regime to come into being and be maintained and transformed. We ask questions about the contemporary relation of in-service training and education to this regime and of the possibilities for and limits of training and education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Warwick: University of Warwick , 2010. 111-117 p.
Keyword [en]
Edlerly care work, activation, Foucault, rhetorical analysis
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57374ISBN: 978-0-904242-68-3OAI: diva2:325342
The 40th annual conference of SCRUTEA
Available from: 2010-06-18 Created: 2010-06-18 Last updated: 2010-08-10

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Fejes, Andreas
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Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher EducationFaculty of Educational Sciences

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