- Category: Frontpage Articles
- Last Updated: Sunday, 04 May 2014 04:44
- Published: Sunday, 27 April 2014 20:46
- Written by Tom Boland
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Work is normative in modernity, therefore, non-work, construed as ‘idleness’ is considered problematic or even deviant. Recent neo-liberal transformations of welfare policy have increasingly constructed all welfare recipients as suspicious individuals who must be monitored and either incentivised into employment or retrained, all the time threatened with sanctions. Empirically, I look at the Irish case, from the Pathways to Work policy and interview data from the Waterford Unemployment Experiences Research Collaboration. I conclude that the new normative identity of ‘job-seeker’ is created by institutions of social control which render any ‘idleness’ as criminal.