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Datorteket: Teknik, arbete och den anställningsbara människan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how employability and the employable as a discursive subject was constructed through a Swedish labor market policy measure called “datortek”. The datortek was a form of combined computer lab and activity center that was set up in collaboration between local governance and the National market labour board. People who were registered as unemployed could be sent to the local datortek to learn how to use a computer. In this way, they would be made employable in the new, knowledge based society and Sweden would be well on its way to become a leading nation in the field of IT-technology and expertise. At least, that was the idea.

In the 1990’s there was a shift in Swedish, as well as european, labour policy discourse. The politically defined problem of “unemployment” changed towards being an issue of the individual’s ability to make oneself “employable”. On a large extent, employability depends on certain individual properties, such as “flexibility”, “entrepreneurship” and being “active”. Earlier research have mainly focused on employability as a policy concept. In this view, employability is seen as something that is enforced through public policy onto the workers.

This study is taking a somewhat different approach. Here, employability will be seen as a concept that takes form in a process of negotiation and articulation. A process that takes place in the interpersonal meeting, in the intercept between man and machine, in formal documents as well as through the design of the datortek itself. Thus, the datortek can serve as a study object that allow us to investigate how employability was articulated. It is this articulation, the process of becoming-employable through the datortek, which is at the heart of this study.

The thesis shows that the datortek functioned as a simulated work place where the participants were made to stage and perform “teamwork” and learn “social competence”. The computer was given the role of an instrument for bringing out certain feelings amongst the participants. This emotive discipline can be understood as a way to achieve “emotional competence”. The thesis also shows a different way on how a concept such as employability can be studied. By looking into the very practical aspects of the datortek, the abstract idea of employability is made comprehensible. This gives us, not only deepened knowledge of the notion of modern labor, but also a better understanding of how ideology is (re)produced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
labor policy, employability, it, the new economy, knowledge based economy, ideology, assemblange
Keyword [sv]
arbetsmarknadspolitik, anställningsbarhet, it, den nya ekonomin, ideologi, sammansättning
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324288DiVA: diva2:1109360
Subject / course
History of Science and Ideas
Educational program
Master Programme in the Humanities – History of Science and Ideas
Presentation
2017-06-02, Engelska parken, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv 3P, Uppsala, 11:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-16 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Miranda Cox_Datorteket(923 kB)24 downloads
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