Historical Social Research

Guido Becke: The Subjectivation of Work and Established-Outsider Figurations. [Abstract]

This paper deals with the unintended consequences of new management strategies, i.e. the internalisation of markets and the subjectivation of work, on social relations in the workplace. Through the example of two organizational case studies from care services and public transport, it is shown that these managerial strategies foster social fragmentation; specifically, the emergence of established-outsider figurations in the workplace. The paper highlights third parties as an important intervening actor in established-outsider figurations at the organizational level. Third parties, e.g. works councils or line managers, may support established or outsider groups, or play a crucial role in reducing power ratios within figurations. Moreover, the paper explores preconditions of a drag effect of habitus through the example of established-outsider figurations in internal marketisation at the organizational level. Social reciprocity between management and outsider groups may prove a vital precondition of habitual change in outsider groups, thereby adapting to new work-related demands. To conclude, potential future avenues of research are outlined.

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