Nudging into subjectification: Governmentality and psychometrics

Article


Cromby, John and Willis, M. 2013. Nudging into subjectification: Governmentality and psychometrics. Critical Social Policy. 34 (2), pp. 241-259.
AuthorsCromby, John and Willis, M.
Abstract

The current age of ‘austerity’ is associated with neoliberal ideology. Neoliberalism can be understood as a form of governmentality – a way of reconfiguring selves and the social order in accord with the demands of market economies. A recent UK policy initiative by the Coalition government’s Behavioural Insights Team required benefit claimants to submit to online psychometric testing. We examine this policy in some detail, arguing that this use of psychometric testing is flawed, unethical, and unlikely to help claimants to find work. Our analysis of the test procedure and its results suggests that the policy functions primarily as a means whereby benefit claimants can be ‘nudged’ towards acceptance of the precepts of neoliberal subjectivities.

Keywordsausterity; neoliberalism; psychology; subjectivity; welfare
JournalCritical Social Policy
Journal citation34 (2), pp. 241-259
ISSN1461-703X
0261-0183
Year2013
PublisherSAGE Publications
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0261018313500868
Publication dates
Print15 Oct 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited22 May 2017
Copyright information© The authors 2013.
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