biographic solutions to structural contradictions

[talking about the way corporations have embraced aspirational culture, making self-improvement part of the benefits/goals of employment]

“But the philosophy of improving ‘personal performance’ also plays into the hands of employers’ rationale that well-being and coping with stress are the responsibility of the individual employeee. It reinforces the tendency for individuals to search for ‘biographic solutions to structural contradictions’, as the sociologist Ulrich Beck put it: forget the barricades, it’s revolution from within that matters. This cultural preoccupation with personal salvation stymies collective reform, and places an onerous burden on the individual. It effectively reinforces the anxieties and insecurities which it offers to assuage” [Bunting, 2004, ]

Madeleine Bunting. Willing Slaves: How the overwork culture is ruling our lives (2004), p. 200

2 replies on “biographic solutions to structural contradictions”

See, that makes sense, but it still makes the assumption that the caring work in the home, and house work and cooking etc, is “women’s work”, and I just can’t buy into that. The idea that one parent should stay home is a nice one, and I’m sure that a lot of people would like to be able to afford that, or to only have to work part time, but it’s not financially viable, and if you remove the financial aspect, there’s no reason why it should be the mother.

Plus, the idea that people would pay others to care for our children, make our food, clean our houses etc is hardly a new one – the victorians were all for it for example.

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