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'Don't be a smart arse': Young workers, individualization, and an ethic of enterprise in Jamie's Kitchen

conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Kelly, Lyn HarrisonLyn Harrison
In Jamie’s Kitchen the high profile celebrity chef Jamie Oliver set out to transform a group of unemployed young Londoners into the enterprising, ideal worker of 21st century flexible capitalism. The paper will argue that this reality TV series provides a means to explore key features of new work regimes. We will analyse particular aspects of the increasingly powerful individualising and normalising processes shaping the lifeworlds of young workers in a globalising risk society. Processes that require those who wish to be positively identified as entrepreneurial to do particular sorts of work on themselves; or suffer the consequences.
Drawing on Foucault’s later work on the care of the self, and the  individualization theses of the reflexive modernization literature, we identify and analyse the forms of personhood that various institutions, organisations and individuals seek to encourage in young workers; and the ways in which institutionalised risk environments increasingly individualise the risks and uncertainties associated with labour market participation. The paper argues that our understandings of what it means to be a worker of the world, are being rearticulated around the idea that we are free to choose. And we must exercise this freedom – reap its rewards, carry its obligations – as individuals.

History

Event

The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA) Conference (2006: Perth, W.A.)

Pagination

1 - 11

Publisher

Sociological Association of Australia (TASA)

Location

Perth, W.A.

Place of publication

Hawthorn, Vic.

Start date

2006-12-04

End date

2006-12-07

ISBN-13

9781740521390

ISBN-10

1740521390

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2006, TASA

Editor/Contributor(s)

V Colic-Peisker, F Tilbury, B McNamara

Title of proceedings

Sociology for a mobile world: TASA 2006. Proceedings of the annual conference of the Australian Sociological Association

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