1st Conference of the Association of European Qualitative Researchers in Psychology

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangering af en begivenhedOrganisation og deltagelse i konference


Labour markets today have become increasingly precarious with a plethora of non-standard employments emerging. As a consequence, we witness eroding boundaries between categories such as ‘unemployed’, ‘freelancer’, ‘self-employed’ etc. Based on in-depth interviews with 39 young formally unemployed people, I investigate how some people who use the Danish unemployment system in other ways than it is intended. They view unemployment benefit as entrepreneurial support, as one of the participants bluntly puts it, while trying to establish themselves professionally. By exploring how the young people are governed in the unemployment system in relation to how they govern themselves, I conclude that they while they are situated in a marginalized societal position, they govern themselves in ways that allow them to live the lives they wish for. In doing so they refuse to identify with being unemployed and instead conduct themselves as freelancers in alignment with what Rose (1999) has termed ‘enterprise culture’. However, this also comes with a price.In paradoxical ways these young people live up to neoliberal ideas about self-marketizing but at the same time they refuse (also neoliberal) ideals about being self-sufficient and economically independent. I discuss how these young people on the verge of the labour market negotiate for a new understanding of what it means to be unemployed. At the same time, they challenge hegemonic ideas about work being restricted to paid work (“labour”) while promoting an understanding of work outside capitalist conceptualizations (“work”).
Periode18 jun. 2021
Grad af anerkendelseInternational