This article examines two projects of subjectification that seek to inculcate a will to work that animates contemporary globalization. Based on ethnographic research at Krakatau Steel, one of Indonesia’s largest state-owned companies, the article contrasts the differing implementation of the American Mormon Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits training program and the Indonesian Muslim Ary Ginanjar’s Emotional and Spiritual Quotient leadership training program. The article focuses on the different ways in which religion is mobilized in each project of subjectification and the opposing manner in which affect is deployed. Both projects seek to create a regime of self-improvement that is simultaneously demanded by, and constitutive of, economic integration and increasing transnational competition. Both of these techniques for work on the will were deployed to resolve the inescapable specter of corporate competitiveness and the calculative rationality upon which it is premised. The broad appeal of these programs lies not so much in their content as in their object: a will to work that is elicited to meet the demands of the day.
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Daromir Rudnyckyj; Regimes of Self-Improvement: Globalization and the Will to Work. Social Text 1 September 2014; 32 (3 (120)): 109–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2703878
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