Contributions to an anthropology of work: On the role of psycho-technicians in the management of freedom within the Dutch police

P. Mutsaers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Organizational life has taken on a psychological hue now that psychological expertise has become an ever more important factor in matters such as selection, job evaluation, work design, job enrichment and the like. This phenomenon is not new, but has recently received new critical commentary in various disciplines. This article contributes to an anthropology of the ‘cognitive turn’ in diversity management within the Dutch police on the basis of an ethnographic study between 2008 and 2013. In particular, it seeks to enhance our understanding of the role of ‘psycho-technicians’ in this matter and looks at the domaining effect of their productions: What happens when their (discursive) management techniques leave the context of production and become operational in different contexts of usage? The article builds upon various concepts that are common in the field of linguistic anthropology (e.g. entextualization, interdiscursivity, intertextual asymmetry, pretextuality and strategically deployable shifters) to answer this question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-144
Number of pages23
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Police
  • Psychology
  • technicians
  • management
  • ethnicity
  • linguistic anthropology
  • diversity
  • work

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