Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Bandinelli, C. (2019). The production of subjectivity in neoliberal culture industries: the case of coworking spaces. International Journal of Cultural Studies. DOI: 10.1177/1367877919878449

This article adds to contemporary studies of neoliberalism by offering an empirical investigation of the production of subjectivity in the context of coworking spaces’ sociality. Coworking spaces are exemplary milieux in which to explore the organisation and significance of work. Drawing on the life history of a creative worker and member of a leading coworking space, I unveil the ethical labour that is required to access coworking’s sociality. Using a Foucauldian framework, I conceptualise this process as a process of subjectivation and concentrate on its ambivalent character, signalling the inherent intertwinement of self-commodification and self-improvement. This article contributes to the scholarly debates on the organisation and significance of work in two key ways. First, it expands our understanding of how the production of subjectivity is experienced at the level of the self. Second, it argues that coworking spaces function as apparatuses for the production of subjectivities in neoliberal culture industries.

Keywords coworking spaces, ethnography, neoliberalism, self-branding, subjectivity

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