Happy, healthy and here: A Foucauldian analysis of the regulation of employee health.

JACKSON, Russell J. (2003). Happy, healthy and here: A Foucauldian analysis of the regulation of employee health. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Academics have recently brought a Foucauldian analysis to bear on the field of employee health, but there is an absence of empirical research grounded in employee accounts. In this thesis, qualitative research methods and forms of Discourse Analysis are utilised from within a predominantly Foucauldian perspective, in order to explore the relations between the perceived shift toward an underlying neoliberalist political rationality and emerging forms of regulation. Neoliberalism is concerned to reform the conduct of individuals and institutions to make them more competitive and productive. Research proceeds through analysis of a key cultural technology, the 'Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement', and two case studies, Consignia and a small web-design company, The Byte. Consignia adopts a disciplinary regulatory approach to employee health, The Byte, a decentred (non)regulatory approach. The state, through the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement, makes a subject position available for employees characterised by motivation, responsibility and productivity, that is 'happy, healthy and here'. An appeal is made to freedom: companies, groups and individuals are positioned as autonomous and responsible agents. Active participation in health and safety establishes local sites of self government that can be indirectly managed by the technologies of numericisation and performance. The concept of responsibility is used strategically as a powerful persuasive trope, designed to change - or maintain - certain behaviours. At both Consignia and The Byte employees continue to subjectively experience health problems that they understand to be caused by work. Under contemporary problematisations they are positioned as (ir)responsible for failing to take adequate measures to protect themselves. The employee, caught within competing problematisations, can struggle to achieve an 'authentic' self. Responsibility for employee health has been successfully implanted into companies and employees through modification of localised discursive conditions. Regulation becomes understood as the production of (de)responsibilisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2003.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20731

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