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Global knowledge capitalism, self-woven safety nets, and the crisis of employability

Moore, P 2006, 'Global knowledge capitalism, self-woven safety nets, and the crisis of employability' , Global Society, 20 (4) , pp. 453-473.

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In the global economy, workers are increasingly expected to cultivate an unprecedented repertoire of abilities in an immaterial world of work. This signifies a limited shift in capitalist expansion in the post-Fordist world in relation to workers' employability therein. A model of worker subjectivity was introduced into Western management and psychology discourse surrounding employability in the 1960s and 1970s. In a developed, post-industrial global economy, management has begun to view workers less as cogs in the wheel or less as rational and predictable entities than as dynamic individuals with the capacity for symbolic reasoning, intelligence, independently generated ideas, and even the desire to work for the sake of self-fulfilment! The Fordist workplace was expected to become a distant memory and organisations were to become “learning organisations” rather than the hierarchical, Dickensian workfloors of the manufacturing age. Nevertheless, rather than offering freedom from the iron cage of capitalism, workers face a contemporary form of coercion that substitutes political representation with a set of expectations and limitations intended, ironically, to result in workplace emancipation. Emphasis on employability of individuals through workers' creation of self-woven safety nets demonstrates an elite-led project to reduce government responsibility for employment welfare. In order to make this claim, the article looks at the case of education policy in South Korea after the economic crisis of 1997.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Global Society © 2006 (copyright Taylor & Francis); Global Society is available online at:
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Global Society
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1360-0826
Depositing User: Users 47901 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2011 09:13
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:38

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