A political discourse of usability – a constructed ready-reality

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Carina Nielsen
  • Nadja Cohen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract
This thesis, which studies the language used in the preparatory legal work for the Social Security reform of 2014, lays bare the related political intentions and goals in order to establish to what extent new methods have been instigated to express and control the matter at hand. Close attention will be paid to how a phenomenon such as unemployment is discursively articulated, as well as to the political view of humanity and the underlying rationale supporting the discourse. Furthermore, there will be a clarification of which governing rationales are implicated by the discourse and how these logics and technologies develop in practice as well as in the context of the unemployed, who must be disciplined and directed towards becoming self-supportive. The accompanying research, which sets the hegemonic discourse on this subject, discloses which artificially created truths are politically affixed in society.
Using post-structuralism as the scientific theory of the thesis, the hegemonic discourse is isolated with a starting point in Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s discourse. In addition, Michel Foucault’s theory on surveillance and punishment is used to illustrate how power from centralised political quarters controls and corrects institutions in order to discipline the unemployed into subjugation.
In conclusion, the main points of the thesis combine to indicate that more adults must quickly transfer to work, while young people must transfer to education. In order to strengthen political focus, completely new target groups and a new referral system must be created to stringently direct the front line towards political goals. Changes which give rise to the knowledge that all unemployed can and must make use of their resources and potential in a competitive nation. Furthermore, welfare benefits for the young unemployed are lowered to a new benefit, an educational grant, at the same time as the age limit is increased from 25 to 30 years old in order to encourage education and achieve savings. These initiatives point towards a previously unseen detailed practical control which will, in the future, control each organisational link by tightening what already exists and making new political thinking visible.
The research supporting this thesis, which indicates the direction in which welfare policy and social work is currently moving, leads to reflections on moral, value-related and institutional consequences, once attention is focused on the artificial truths of the discourse
LanguageDanish
Publication date14 Nov 2016
Number of pages118
ID: 243697474