Young People and the Making of the Self as Enterprise: New Work Orders and Global Grammars of Enterprise

Diego Carbajo Artículo en Actas de Congreso 2019 CEIC, Grupo Consolidado

European Sociological Association (2019). Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging

In this paper we want to suggest that 21st century neo-Liberal capitalism is energised by a spirit that sees in the cultivation of the self – as an ongoing, never ending enterprise – an ethically slanted maxim for the conduct of a life (Weber 2002). This spirit is identifiable as an institutionally structured, individualised ethic of enterprise: a structured series of incitements and imperatives to manage the biography as an entrepreneurial DIY project. This ‘point-of-arrival’ for young people’s ‘transitions’ through education and training, and onto the ‘real’ world of work, is, we will suggest, a complex, precarious risky, and globalising arena central to the process of making a self. This paper, which is grounded in two ongoing research projects related to self and social enterprise in Europe and Australia, will deploy the analytical concept of global grammars of enterprise to identify, examine and analyse a number of things, including: the shifting, unstable, always strategic power relations between governmental discourses of ‘enterprise’; and the performances and actions of enterprise, the enterprising behaviour and dispositions of persons and groups, the ‘vernacular’, local, particular, ‘translations’ of the ideas of entrepreneurship that organisations and young people perform in particular places. Our use of grammar is a way of addressing the preferred, normative rules of use of the institutional and orthodox representations of the self as enterprising. The concept gestures toward the materiality of agencies, apparatuses and institutions that converge in the implementation and development of an ethic of enterprise.

Carbajo, D. (2019). Young People and the Making of the Self as Enterprise: New Work Orders and Global Grammars of Enterprise. En European Sociological Association. 14th ESA Conference, Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging (p.p. 657). París.