Empowerment as contested terrain: employability of the Dutch workforce

Pruijt, Hans and Yerkes, Mara A. (2014) Empowerment as contested terrain: employability of the Dutch workforce. European Societies, 16 1: 48-67. doi:10.1080/14616696.2013.809465

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Author Pruijt, Hans
Yerkes, Mara A.
Title Empowerment as contested terrain: employability of the Dutch workforce
Journal name European Societies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-6696
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14616696.2013.809465
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 16
Issue 1
Start page 48
End page 67
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Sociological analysis has mainly portrayed empowerment as a manipulative, masking discourse. However, various actors in society view it as the opposite of domination and espouse it as a goal. Empowerment can constitute a discursive field shaped by its internal contractions between autonomy and control, between ambition and risk of programmed failure, exacerbated by the emphasis on responsibility, and between focus and stigmatization. The paper presents a case study of controversies and interventions concerning employability in The Netherlands. Employability can be seen as empowerment in matters of career. The study is based on 41 interviews with policy makers, managers, union and employers' leaders and politicians. It shows that actors drawing on the principle of empowerment as a goal in itself can reset or reclaim a drifting empowerment project in its inceptive phase and add their own twist during execution, evaluation and efforts to engineer improvements.
Keyword Empowerment
Social policy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 27 Jun 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 01 Apr 2014, 17:01:02 EST by Mara Yerkes on behalf of ISSR - Research Groups