For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Crisis and transformation of occupational identities in three sectors (retail, mining, state): contributions to understanding workplace subjectivities in neoliberal Chile"

by Stecher, Antonio; Soto Roy, Álvaro (2019)


In the context of the restructuring of production and the emergence of more flexible work patterns, this article contributes to our understanding of changing workplace subjectivities under neoliberalism in contemporary Chile. Using research carried out by the authors, it describes the break-up of traditional ‘occupational identities’ that historically played a key role in shaping labour subjectivities in three key sectors of the Chilean economy—mining, retail and public service. These occupational identities, which combine forms of know-how, moral values, and a sense of belonging, still have an important symbolic weight in work experiences although they are under severe pressure from flexible reorganisation processes. The emergence of new, more individualised workplace subjectivities based on generic skills and geared to strategic mobility, is also described. The coexistence of both workplace subject profiles accounts for the complexities and heterogeneity of the processes of cultural and subjective change in the current world of work.


Occupational Identity, Subjectivity, Neoliberalism, Neoliberal Self, Chile


Psychological Centrality of Work, Occupational Identity, Living Labour, Neoliberal self

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