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International Journal of Psychological Research

Print version ISSN 2011-2084

int.j.psychol.res. vol.7 no.2 Medellín July/Dec. 2014

 

Review

Pathologization and Depathologization of The “Free Worker” In Terms of The Psycho-Social Risk

La Patologización y Despatologización del “Trabajador Libre” en Términos del Riesgo Psico-social

Hernan Camilo Pulido Martíneza,*, Luz Mery Carvajal Marina,

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.
*Corresponding author: Hernan Camilo Pulido, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Bogotá, Colombia. Email address: cpulido@javeriana.edu.co

Article history: Received: 08-04-2014 - Revised: 20-06-2014 - Accepted: 05-07-2014


ABSTRACT

Recently, there have been a series of transformations in the configuration of the "psi complex" at work (Ingleby, 1985; Rose, 1985). From being concerned with aspects of the workers' health in mainstream psychology, there has been a shift towards looking into the existing relationship between health, work, and psychology, in which a series of perspectives that prescribe work as risk, and the risks of work as psychosocial problems, have become a main concern. In this interplay between those psychological perspectives, new processes of pathologization and dephatologization of work and workers are produced. Taking as a point of departure the fiction of the "free worker" as the figure of subjectivity that conventional psychology takes for itself, this article aims at discussing three ways in which "psi complex" is recomposed to constitute the healthy worker according to the radical changes taking place in labour organization.

Key words: Pathologization, Dephatologization, Psi-complex. Subjectivity, Critical psychology


RESUMEN

Recientemente han venido ocurriendo una serie de transformaciones en la composición del “complejo psi” en el trabajo (Ingleby, 1985; Rose, 1985). De considerar, tangencialmente, aspectos de la salud de los trabajadores en la psicología convencional, se está pasando a una relación entre, la salud, el trabajo y la psicología, en la cual ocupan un lugar central una serie de perspectivas que prescriben el trabajo como riesgo y los riesgos del trabajo como problemas psicosociales. En consecuencia en este inter-juego entre perspectivas psicológicas se han configurado nuevos procesos de patologización y despatologización del trabajo y del trabajador. A partir de la ficción del “trabajador libre” como aquella figura de la subjetividad que toma para sí la psicología convencional, en este artículo se presentan y analizan tres formas en las cuales se ha recompuesto el “complejo psi” para constituir al trabajador saludable de acuerdo con los cambios radicales de la organización del trabajo.

Palabras Clave: Patologizacion, Despatologizacion, Complejo psi, subjetividad, psicología crítica


1. CONVENTIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, SUBJECTIVITY AND RISK

The “free worker” is the figure of subjectivity that conventional psychology has taken as the foundation to intervene in work contexts (Pulido-Martínez, 2012a). In a practical sense, Psychology assumes that through the doors of working places comes a worker who is free from the bonds of tradition and who is in a situation of competition without any restrictions, which in turn will allow him or her to obtain a greater benefit product from his or her workforce. A capacity of rational agency to choose from the options found in the labor market is attributed to this worker fiction, this added to an assumption that there are no restrictions when it comes to access the job he or she wants to do, reason why the duties he or she will have are to trace the rout for his or her vocation.

Needless to say, a formal equality before the law is assigned to this free worker in regards to the other side of his or her figure: the employer. This type of equalization vis-à-vis the law leaves little room for possession conditions to be any different. The former can only count on his or her workforce, yet the latter owns the capital that buys working life (Henriques, Hollway, Urwin, Venn, & Walkerdine, 1998; Marx, 2000; Pulido-Martínez, Garcia-Alvarez, Carvajal-Marin y Gonzalez-Ortiz, 2013).

This fiction of the free worker constitutes a central figure in modernity that is rooted along with capitalism; thus, historically it comes before the birth of psychology as an academic field, and its emergence dates back to the time prior psychology’s contact with the working world. (Pulido-Martínez, 2012a). In this order of ideas, then it is possible to assert that some history of psychology could be developed around the how in praxis such figure of subjectivity has been adopted. In other words, we can examine how psychology has profiled, through academic jargon, the free worker proposed by the political economy to later give it back transformed to the working contexts. In such public spaces, through daily practice, the figure of the free worker imbued in psychological language, is inscribed within the worker and it allows for the setting up of work according to the demands of production.

Through genealogical studies, for instance, it has been shown how in the conjunction between research of the psychology of differences and the humanist psychology, a sentimental worker was produced (Gillespie, 1993; Hollway, 1991; Rose, 1999; Townley, 1994), which constitutes a first type in which conventional psychology qualified the "free worker" (Pulido-Martínez, 2012a). This less rational and more sentimental worker, even today, was tied to some specific working conditions provided by employment. The condition of employment establishes, essentially, a permanent direct contract between the employer and the employee, with the subsequent stability and security in several social and economic aspects in such way that the employee can survive even after having stopped working for reasons such as disability, unemployment or elderliness. The strategies linked to the construction of a corporate family are those which more clearly seek to act over the perception of the worker aiming to reach, or better yet, as suggested by Morris Viteles (1932), conquer the worker's willingness to carry out the activities demanded by the administration.

As long as conventional psychology focuses its proposals in the perceptions of workers regarding their task, it leaves aside the objective conditions in which work is carried out (Davila-Ladrón de Guevara, 1985; Prilleltensky, 1990; 1994). Therefore, work itself is put in brackets in the psychological analysis that are conducted, let alone the relationship between work and health, for the latter doesn't have a significant place within the approaches of hegemonic psychology to the world of work (Pulido-Martínez et al, 2013). Nevertheless, it is possible to say that in mainstream psychology some unrest or better yet, pathologies of efficiency are considered, which are not directly linked to those physical and mental individual ailments. Such pathologies aim, or are the result of actions linked to the liberal anti-values. This can be evidenced, for example, in situations in which promotions and opportunities for those with social class bonds are guaranteed and "the others" without such connections are discriminated. These anti-values and the actions that follow them can result in a lack of efficiency in the sense that no individual merit is being guaranteed whatsoever.

Thus, in places where employment is central, there is an interest for applying a series of techniques directed to the constitution of the free worker, now also sentimental, who presumably has some specific skills and carries out some particular functions. Skills and functions, considered by psychology, constitute the way to instill liberal work values (Sisto, 2009; Pulido-Martinez y Sato, 2013). Apparently when such values are reached, the worker is taken to a state of satisfaction that allows him or her to perform efficiently and effectively.

Then, the psychology as a guarantor of liberal values prevents prejudices and discriminations from obstructing social mobility and “personal fulfillment”. This operation, at least ideally, allows an ethical support to the psychology of work, as it has also caused an academic debate that constantly refers to the prejudices that psychology must take into consideration, every time in a more comprehensive manner, in order to resist them through the design and application of psychological techniques (Pulido-Martínez, 2012a).

2. PSYCHOSOCIAL RISK, WORK PSYCHOLOGY AND THE FREE WORKER

Along the side of the hegemonic vision, several studies have strengthened a vision of the relationship between psychology, work and health around the risk of getting ill. Deriving from this "psi complex", a new qualification for the free worker has emerged. Here, the worker is at risk of getting sick as a result of work; work itself is a risk and the subject who performs it is a worker at risk. This conception of the worker and his or her relationship to the work activities is rooted in the conceptions that arose for human beings in terms of the statistical probabilities for both, bacteriology and epidemiology (Ayres, 2005). The figures of countable subjects at risk that emerged there were acknowledged by psychology. Researchers have claimed that this has been a process in which within capitalism, the conception of the worker's health has moved from "a concern about the body's survival to a concern about the worker's mental health" (Vasconcelos e Faria, 2008, p. 453) giving way to new possibilities for the world of work to psychologize and along with it, new ways of pathologizing to appear.

The risk language, as seen in studies that broadly consider the "psi complex", has reached all branches of psychology (Spink, Menegon, Bernardes, & Coelho, 2007). In relation to industrial hegemonic psychology, occupational or organizational, nontheless, and perhaps due to its denial to the work as a concern, the introduction to perspectives around risk at and because of work have had little and at the same time lots of repercussion.

Little in the sense that, as referred above, not a lot of studies within the field have adressed the issue of health linked to work. And when they have, they have adressed an interest only in terms of wellbeing towards the keeping or increasing of productivity. Perspectives, then, do not explicitly take a political stand conducive to transform the conditions in which subjects have to work and as a result, the strategies deriving from here always tend to trivialize working issues.

On the other hand, the inclusion of perspectives about risk has begun to repercuss significantly on hegemonic psychology. As long as the ways of conceiving risk in an instrumental manner find their way in the psychological field, organizational psychology has started to be little by little “permeated” by the approaches that conceptualize the interventions to risk at and because of work as the main focus of their studies. This has been a slow process, both, in the professional practice and in the academic contexts. However, results show that the conventional processes of recruiting, inclusion and retirement, all components of the traditional psychologic cycle, start to be considered in terms of risk for the health of workers and that new actors, not necessarily psychologists, negotiate psychological knowledge to move towards risk prevention. For pathology to appear in this movement that restructures the “psi complex” there is an intervention of stress as a cause and exposure to stress as a risk. This way, for example, processes such as staff selection need to start guaranteeing that the stress caused by the performance of a task decreases. This occurs if, in the case of selection, an appropriate process of selection is carried out in which the chosen candidate has the skills, attitudes and profile that the target position demands; in other words, the merits required for the posittion in question. When this is achieved, the possibility for the worker to be affected by health issues as a cause of his or her duties will decrease. On the contrary, failures along the process will put the worker at potential risk of getting ill since he or she will not have the required dispositions to carry out the tasks that will be demanded from him or her. Therefore, his or her stress will increase as also the chances for a pahology to appear.

Reward to the merit done by staff selection, recognition to continuous improvement that occurs as a result of qualification processes, best effort incentive, performance assessment method objective, and also autonomy promotion when participation processes are carried out are seen as values associated to psychological processes which are central to preserving the health, or on the contrary putting the worker at risk of illness. This way, not only because such processes set forth values associated with liberalism, but because besides allowing the attainment of them, or better yet, guarantee their achievement, they become a source of illness for the worker (Pulido-Martínez, et al, 2013).

However, facing the present reality in which psychosocial risk language and the activities leading to prevent it, not having an established place, move towards the conquest of hegemonic psychology that is applied in the working places, one should ask about the processes that constitute subjectivity, which shape in a different manner the sentimental worker typical of humanistic visions that are the heart of work psychological knowledge.

In order to reach this goal, historical studies that explore the relationship between psychology, work, health and risk have succeeded in establishing diverse perdiodizations.

Through these periodizations different organization among the elements that compose the “psi complex” are shown in such a way that manners of conceiving human beings have been produced in relation to prescriptions of proper behavior for staying healthy at and because of work, and also the causes of illnesses, the activities to prevent them and the role that psychological knowledge plays in the intervention and preservation of the worker’s health.

In this regard, Jane Ogden (1995) for instance, claims that during the XXth century there is a conjoint movement between the positivist theories, stress explanatory models, explanations to addictions and the ways of conceiving health risks.

In this way, we gradually shifted from the conception of human beings relatively passive to the atack of viruses as causes of illnesses during the first decades of the century, to a very different vision. This perspective emerges after World War II when we move away from the idea of that passive subject to establish an interactive relationship between the human being and the environment. At that moment in time, of course, biomedic models looked to conceptualize how this bio-psycho-social relationship took place, in which perception and cognition as psychological objects are essential to carry out evaluations of health risk that might be present in the environment. In this last stage that makes part of the present, Jane Ogden (1995) asserts that a new order of the “psi complex” elements already mentioned has been produced. There is not an articulation around the passive subject or the interaction with the environment any longer. Instead, health risks have been placed within the subject who is in charge of handling them with responsibility in order to stay healthy. The self-control concept becomes indispensable in this new arrangement, for it determines the taking of “frugal” measurements that are demanded from the worker, for instance, to be in control of his or her own health. Self-control is the fundamental object that allows for risks to be modified through inner actions taken by this object, clearly defined as “intra-active” now (Odgen, 1995).

This trend in that takes care of the worker's health in bulding him or her in the daily practice in reference to stress and risk, is commonly known as psycho-social risks in occupational health. This is a way of considering health that day by day intertwines with the world of work to the point that in terms of psychology, we now have a series of stress, mobing, burnout, Karioshi epidemies and of depression (Kalia, 2002; Hunt, 1991; Martínez-Alcantara y Hernandez-Sanchez, 2005; Mole, 2008; Pereira, 2011; Wainwrigth & Calnan, 2002).

Although these prespectives are critiqued for being instrumental, thereupon mechanisists for there is not a genuine worry for the worker's health in the sense that he or she is thought in regards to the efficiency of production objectives (Vasconcelos e Faria, 2008), they do offer different options to position the worker in relation to the processes of emergence of a pathology at and because of work.

A new qualification in psychological terms of the free worker emerges from the proposals in terms of the psychosocial risks that consider work as employment or what concertedly has been called, the “good job”. The worker now has to be that vigilant and austere subject, for he or she is in constant work risk at and because of work. This way of envisioning the worker in praxis is still active in organizations were employment still has a stronghold. The worker as an intra-active, autonomous and responsible subject, must take care of him or herself. The certainties that the working conditions provides are there to assist him or her. This situation allows for workers to claim compensations based on the emergence of illnesses due to psychosocial risks exposure.

Although it is difficult to prove that there is a direct link between psychosocial risk and the development of a pathology, the posible relation of the two can become both, a factor of individual resistance and of collective actions seeking for specific claims in a world of work where they are harder to attain every time.

It may seem as though psychological strategies opened routes. Research of psychosocial risks could lead workers to find arguments for the formulation of their labor demands for better working conditions and thus, of health conditions. However, they can also become an obstacle for such demands. In psychological terms, one can assert that the conditions that facilitate the benefits that the work allows such as social security access should be maintained, but also not stop blaiming the worker for being irresponsible with him or herself, taking risks, putting him or herself in risky situations, reason why he or she is accused of not being self-controled enough, which may give way for a pathology to emerge.

3. EMPLOYMENT, POST-EMPLOYMENT AND FREE WORKER RISK

It has been shown that certain psychologies are relevant for some specific social, economic and historical conditions. For instance, Brinkmann (2008) points out that the move from the industrial society to a society of consumerism, brings along a change in conductist and psychoanalytic psychologies for the first type of society, and humanistic constructivist for the second. In this order of ideas, one can undestand that hegemonic or organizational psychology has been relevant in the working conditions asociated to employment, and that other type of psychologies contemporaneoulsly accompany the deregulation processes such as flexibilization and labour precarization (Pulido-Martínez, 2012b).

Generally speaking, it is worth clarifying the characteristics associated to work, particularly to wellbeing that are disappearing to give way to new forms of work organization. Reserchers summarize these characteristics as follows: The "good work" maintains its optimal calculation among labour quantitative and qualitative charges ; it has clarity of roles; it allows for the development of one's own skills, it promotes participation in the decision; it opens up possibilities for new learnings; it allows for the construction of strong social bonds; it is framed within a fair and democratic treatment; it promotes a close contact with costumers; it eases the building of familiar bonds in articulation with the activities carried out, and it is fundamentally stable (Karasek & Theorell, 1990; Lindstrom, 1994; Wainwright & Calnan, 2002). As it can be noticed, this global description can be associated to the situation that prevailed until some decades ago in societies of the North Atlantic, and that was tried to replicate worldwide in an incomplete way.

In such labor conditions, experts in occupational health have designed their interventions to prevent pathologies associated to work from appearing. For instance, beginning with strategies such as position enrichment (Wainwright & Calnam, 2002). This strategy conveys, in terms of variety and significance of the tasks that a worker needs to carry out, the conceptual proposals that organizational psychology had formulated in this regard, but also the conception of risk as a perceptual issue that relates the worker to his or her environment. This way, the labour satisfation project promised by conventional psychology is articulated with a vison in terms of risk that supossedly makes the proposed intervention to decrease or prevent a pathology associated to work from appearing, which certainly demonstrates how risk psychology takes over conventional psychology.

Spare not to say that the work that would not adapt, or at least until de 70s, to the "normal" conditions described above, would indeed open the possibilities for pathologies to emerge (Wainwright & Calnan, 2002). This was a way of conceiving work as risk and working risks that prescribed that every way of working that would not adapt to employment could be potentially harmful. Certainly, in the "good work" conditions, risk is also connected to the chances of loss or profits decrease. The event for a patology to set up, is related to the threat for a decrease in profits due to low productivity and/or compensation payments. This issue has caused criticisms in terms of how the wide socio-political context is hidden when associated to the emergence of a pathology and the neglect for not taking into account the complexity and diversity of aspects that are set aside when working problems are to be acknolwedged, exclusively, through the perception of stress (Allard-Poesi & Hollet-Haudebert, 2012).

Nowadays, the new working conditions associated with the implementation of neoliberal policies, make the characteristics of work to get further appart, every time more, from the ideal that was proposed by employment. Currently, in the North Atlantic countries, the organization of work that tends to become a "rule" acquires characteristics opposing to employment. In the South Global countries the spaces where employment was present tend to disappear and the precarious conditions that have prevailed increase. Instability in terms of roles, time and work position, blurry of functions, fixed-term contract, minimum wage negotiation for a worker at a time, temporary social relationships, and the ongoing dissipation of the difference between public and private goods seem to become the working standards at the light of liberal geopolitics (Castel, 1997; De la Garza-Toledo, 2005; Moulier-Boutang, 2006; Papadopoulos, 2004; Sennett, 2000; 2006; Walkerdine, 2005).

As for work as risk and working risks, there is a major shift in this transition. The tension reflected between employment conditions and those in a post-employment situation, as formulated by David Wainwright and Michael Calnam (2002) causes that, what were once conceived the factors that cured stress and prevented people from work risks, be nowadays considered the contemporary cause of it and in turn, the reason for the emergency of a pathology. Perhaps, it is necessary to clarify this: In psychological terms, labour conditions become potentially pathological and as a result the sentimental worker's subjectivity has to be re-qualified in order to resonate with the conditions he or she is offered.

From a free worker, qualified for his or her psychological management during the time of employment, as a sentimental subject, owner of personality characteristics, particular skills and the possibility of having permanent and temporary functions, there is being a shift towards a "portfolio" worker (Sisto, 2009) with multiple competences to carry out a variety of tasks in different places that are not necessarily associated to a formal organization (Soto & Gaete, 2013; Stecher & Godoy, 2014). This type of flexible worker is, additionally, with real lack of possibilities for being employed, an employable subject. This is, a permanent seeker of a situation of stability.

These characteristics that the worker must display in order to move in the working market, are accompanied by the development of some strategies according with the prescriptions to avoid the risks of getting ill. Lifestyle is perhaps one of the central issues that compels the worker to govern his or her life in such a way that it resonates with the demands of staying free from risk, self govern to prevent work from harming him or her, or avoid work threats that may reach him or her.

As a result, the relevance of institutional linkage is set aside, for health is limited to a matter of personal decisions. It is here that a new version appears that is becoming more widely accepted in terms of the handling of work risks, which dissociates the worker completely and his or her health from the working conditions. This version of risk orchestrated by psychology instead of inviting the worker to build his or her life frugally as an antidote for pathologies (as it occurs in the case of those who still perform under working conditions), calls him or her to action, to taking risks, to take the initiative, and be innovator at work in his or her relationships and in life itself.

In this scenario the risk that was associated to the possibility of getting ill in relation to work, transforms paradogically into a mobilizing factor of the activity and a health promoter.

Risk before the precarious and flexible conditions of work is presented in Mary Jane Spink's words (2001), as a matter of adventure. Consequently, taking risks is considered a cause of welfare, social mobility and enjoyment.

As an adventure, risk then is unlinked from the labour pathology and it is set far from any relation to the emergence of an illnes at and because of work. The invitation in this depathologization process is then to assume risks even above the level that one would think is possible to face, for in the long run this will mean a guarantee of success, progress and autonomy and not a threat that might cause the spurt of an illness.

There are a lot of psychological strategies that can be placed in this way of encouraging risk as an adventure. Generally speaking, they can be framed according with Eduardo Apodaca (2011) within what is known as the new management. There can be found, without much pretension, a lot of contemporary psychological proposals to intervene in the spaces where labour takes place such as coaching, emotional intelligences, Neuro-linguistic programming, challenge strategies by options, "The Secret" and a great part of self-help literature. "Weak" psychologies that require "psi" experts that are not necessarily experts in the psychological discipline. In many diverse combinations these strategies attempt to produce the free worker fiction in terms of an interspace that has two poles a the world of work itself these days.

At one end we can find the worker as a proactive subject who takes risks to be the promoter of his or her own destiny, flexible and mobile, for he or she has no roots that tie him or her to the present or the past. At the other end is the static subject who does not take risks or takes little, who trusts only what he or she owns and does not ambition anymore (Pulido-Martínez, 2010). These two ends are connected and composed by two elements: A process and a decision. The process is related to a series of steps that lead the worker to carry out a groups of exercises supported by psychology in such a way that he or she will feel freer than before and, thus will leave his or her comfort zone or certainties where "nothing risky" occurs. As for the decision, it is precicely about taking risks and adventure oneself to be innovative. Overall, the worker is asked to re-invent him or herself to become what the North American culture highly values: It is about compeling the worker to take risks as the "winner", subject capable of building him or herself in some sort of willingness for which the labour, social and cultural conditions are not relevant to his or her success, nor are the setbacks that might come along.

Thereby, risk is depathologized and certainties are linked to the lack of mobility and the possibility to a work-related risk of an illness to appear. In a counter movement associated to risk as adventure, the conditions connected with the certainties that work offered are related to the chances for a work pathology to emerge.

It should be noted that an old strategy built with the elements of the "psi" complex is revisited. In the same way it was raised during the years of developmentalism also in psychological terms of multiple and subtle strategies, that the traditional workers were both the cause of work ills for they were not constituted as free workers, and they were the reason for the existence of countries that did not belong to the industrialized orbit (Pulido-Martinez, 2006); nowadays in flexibilization and precarization of work, the "psi complex" is re-articulating in varied and subtle manners to place those even in working conditions, in the position of workers that need to re-invent themselves to fit in the new labour organization.

Likewise, the objective conditions associated to employment are shown as the cause of modern pathologies linked to mobility, fear to change, and "comfort zones". In such conditions, workers with or in the search of stability are seen as the cause of work ills and the employment conditions that characterize employment the causes of the processes that might lead to a pathology.

4. CONCLUSION

In discursive terms, this paper has attempted to adress how patolgization and depathologization processes of workers are being built around risk at work, which are directly connected with the transition in the present working conditions. In such processes, the free worker, essential figure for capitalism to work and stay, is qualified in psychological terms for calculation exercises to be done in praxis, and deriving from these, a series of prescriptions can be carried out that affect workers directly to compel them to re-invent themselves in such terms.

As suggested by NOelle Mole (2008)the contemporary forms of conceiving work pathologies need to be subject of careful study through the processes by which they are created, institutionalized, and also resist the psychological call that pathologizes and depathologizes.

Critical contemporary research will not be able to untie from the transformations that occur in the world of work. This type of research needs to nail the potential that allows for political action. On one hand, pathologization conducted in the world of work can be beneficial when the working conditions decrease; this is, when there are higher possibilities for the worker to be harmed. In this sense, discursive strategies can also emerge along with institutional mechanisms to criticize the precarization of labour associated to neoliberalism. But, on the other hand, we can fall in the common belief that more “psi” experts are required to regulate daily life.

The three ways in which psychology, work and health here described are articulated, show the contemporary intricacies of psi complex, as the relevance of taking a closer look at the mise in scene of psychology in different contexts.

Certainly, the development of diverse forms of conceiving risk and the prescriptions to build workers in a particular manner, do not appear equally in all working contexts. It is in the relationship between and inside working spaces that a discoursive field becomes effective, which leads to the pathologization and depathologization processes where employment is not effectively favored. The combinations showed here point out how, at present, the “good work” is questioned as it is seen as a pathological case, therefore politically useful to contribute subtly to its disarticulation. However, this does not mean that one should deny the possible existence of combinations that precisely lead to defend, if not the condition of employment as we knew it, a situation of work less individualistic in which solidarity and certainty processes are feasible and there still exists the potential hope of freedom in the sense that one can be out of work thanks to the provision of some benefits that allow people to live without the threat of not existing as a consequence of lack of livelihood. (Standing, 2010).

It is noted that the processes of depathologization cannot be seen here as a critical matter taken for granted. Better yet, one can recognize that under the conditions of psychologization of work around risk, in a pathologizing or depathologizing sense, one should see, as suggested by Michel Feher 2007), if any potential still remains to escape from guvernamental situations from within the constelation established between psychology, work, health and subjectivity constitution.

It is worthwile keeping in mind the suggestions contemporaneously given in terms of the posibilities of social change from a certain reformism (Castel, 2006). At the present, this reformism is defined as the compromise between a critical thinking regarding social order and the need to accept the constraints of it.

It is about resisting in order to improve the existing order for lack of being able to change it radically (O'Malley, 2007). Perhaps one should look back at these government rationalities that root in psychology to take risk, and the new ways of pathologizing and depathologizing working contexts in order to propose some type of innovative assembly to reach political goals as Pat O'Malley (2007) suggests.

This text attempted to build a wide vision of prescriptions to qualify workers as psychological subjects and take actions that "lead their conduct" in the midst of the changes that are taking place in the world of work (Foucault, 1977; Miller & Rose, 1990). The seeming division of psi strategies as described by Nikolas Rose (1996) some years ago, has been once again unveiled. Perhaps this has contributed in some way for this psychological worker to disarticulate him or herself from within


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