Doing Gender in Public Services: Affective Labour of Employment Agents

Glinsner, Barbara ORCID: and Sauer, Birgit and Gaitsch, Myriam and Penz, Otto and Hofbauer, Johanna (2018) Doing Gender in Public Services: Affective Labour of Employment Agents. Gender, Work & Organization, 25 (3). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1468-0432

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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The restructuring of state bureaucracies into service organi zations and the new welfare state paradigm of activation have changed the work requirements of front-line workers in public employment agencies across Europe. Public employment agents are less engaged in bureaucratic labour, but have to perform service work. They use affective means to motivate and to monitor and sanction jobseekers. This article provides evidence that these transformations in Aus tria, Germany and Switzerland did not suspend the gender ing of public service work. We discovered four typical modes of affectively enacting the state: both male and female employment agents follow feminized service work pat terns or masculinized entrepreneurial norms. To prevent a possible loss of their professional status, some employment agents reinterpret affective labour as professional service work that demands high expertise. Others resist the activa tion paradigm by performing traditionally feminized care work or by still adhering to affect-neutral male bureaucratic work.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: affective labour, care work, employment agents, entrepreneurialism, neo-bureaucrats
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Soziologie u Empirische Sozialforschung
Forschungsinstitute > Verteilungsfragen
Kompetenzzentren > Sustainability Transf. & Responsibility
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 10:21
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 15:58
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