Vad är arbetslöshet? – En diskursiv policyanalys av EU:s arbetslöshetspolicy och sydsvenska ESF-projekt
Sammanfattning: This essay highlights how the policy documents of the European Union and projects in southern Sweden financed through the European Social Fund (ESF) mutually represent unemployment as a specific type of problem. By applying the theoretical perspective rationalities and technologies of government, the essay provides insight into the process where the EU rationalizes unemployment as a problem that necessitates certain solutions, solutions technologized through ESF-projects. The results indicate that individuals are represented to lack employability in three main ways: Lack of training, lack of activity, and lack of self-esteem. Through a “What´s the problem represented to be?”- approach the essay discusses how these representations are legitimized, and as a discursive practice, legitimizes certain subjective presuppositions and assumptions about unemployment. Key concepts within the policy such as employment, labor market, and participation are ascribed with certain subjective meanings. Furthermore, the analysis also directs attention to the use of binaries such as independent and dependent, active and passive, and healthy and unhealthy. Lastly, the essay provides a discussion about three alternative problematisations currently marginalized within the policy. These are: Unemployment as a collective problem, unemployment as a lack of durable employment, and unemployment as a cause for individual deficiencies.
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