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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

Print version ISSN 1518-6148On-line version ISSN 2175-3644


APPEL-SILVA, Marli  and  BIEHL, Kátia. Trabalho na pós-modernidade: crenças e concepções. Rev. Mal-Estar Subj. [online]. 2006, vol.6, n.2, pp. 518-534. ISSN 1518-6148.

The purpose of the present article is to reflect upon the implications of flexible labor-related beliefs and conceptions upon human subjectivity. Contemporary changes in labor structure were generated by modifications in the value system, that is, in the beliefs and conceptions that gave rise to the idea of flexibilization of the capital and labor processes as being more suitable to the reorganization necessary to maintain the capitalist economic system. However, flexible work generated a series of contradictory conceptions that prevented workers from rendering satisfactory services and made them subject to dismissal and blamable for being unemployed. Therefore, flexible work was thought to be very likely to fail at a time where the subject value was based on the ideas of success-failure applied to the most varied aspects of life. The possibility of failure at work aroused a subjectiveness characterized by a continuous fear. Such aspect was found to prevent the elaboration of a complex and analytical sense concerning the context. Concomitantly, the internalization of hedonic values, common in contemporary times, has stimulated the subjects to adopt ludic practices as a means to obtain personal satisfaction, so as to make up for the dissatisfaction with labor practices. Thus, life was to be divided into two parts: a "life of hard work" and a "life of ludic events and pleasure". Consequently, in order to overcome the fear of failure, subjects have shown a sort of indifference toward labor and started to seek pleasures and sensations by means of ludic activities. Work has become a way to finance the hedonic consumption, generating subjects with times and spaces divided into subject-worker and subject-consumer, that is, times-spaces of suffering and times-spaces of pleasure.

Keywords : flexible work; post modernity; beliefs; conceptions; subjectivity.

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