The essay identifies workfare as the exemplary form of contingent labor practice inasmuch as it blurs the boundaries between the free and unfree labor contract, welfare and work, flexibility and compulsion. However, analyses of workfare have too often ignored the centrality of sexual politics to the tendencies of welfare and labor reform. Arguing that neoliberal labor practice is inseparable from the theological project of neopaternalist social policy, the essay casts a critical eye on the moral orthodoxies of recent capitalist critique (Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek). The theological turn of recent anticapitalist theory is merely the refracted expression of faith-based workfare and is entirely complicit with the restorative moment of capital’s double movement.
Melinda Cooper; Workfare, Familyfare, Godfare: Transforming Contingency into Necessity. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2012; 111 (4): 643–661. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1724120
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