Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Aktivierende Individualisierung


"The study by Andreas Hirseland and Werner Schneider deals with the meaning and the structural change in individualisation in the modern period and aims at spelling out, in a more comprehensive way, the connection between the institutional level and the subject level (...) They explain the changing arrangement of being directed either by oneself or from the outside using the example of the development of the welfare state. Modernisation is reflected in the successive conversion from a providing and caring system to a preempting, activating regime that in itself points to a new thrust towards individualisation. The focus of welfare state policy is no longer classical rights of protection; it is a question of an 'activating individualisation', namely of according individual rights within a universal working society. While, within the framework of the first modern period with its formation of centralized states, the differentiation between public and private, the normal working relationship, and the normal biography, it was still a question of creating and maintaining an overall social body by means of the institutional disciplination of the individual body, today the all-encompassing implementation of a new type of subjectivity seems to be in the foreground. In this connection the old institutions of power of external disciplination and control join up with the earlier 'opposing powers' autonomy and freedom, in that their striving for autonomy is redirected and asserted even against resistance. In this way the labour market and welfare state reforms of the last years show that the formerly 'controlled' subject is freed from old controls in accordance with the new institutional direction and is subjected to an imperative 'care of himself' (see Foucault 1989). Under the motto 'Fordern und Fördern' (encouragement plus obligations) as well as 'Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe' (help towards self-help) the technologies of the self become reflexive-modern and point to totalizing autonomy attributions and further to the radicalized and unsecured responsibility of self-reliant 'creating of oneself' as a member of the working community." (Text excerpt, IAB-Doku) ((en))


Bibliographical information

Hirseland, Andreas; Schneider, Werner (2011): An activating individualisation : on the change of power and control in the second modern period. In: W. Bonß & Lau Christoph (Eds.), Macht und Herrschaft in der reflexiven Moderne, Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft, pp. 148-174.