Immersion at Work. Affect and Power in Post-Fordist work cultures
Rainer Mühlhoff, Jan Slaby – 2018
We explore some of the ways in which relational affect has been turned into a subtle device for governing individuals. We focus on present-day workplace arrangements in network corporatism or, more generally, post-Fordism. Our purpose is also a theoretical one, namely that of consolidating a philosophical conception of relational affect in the tradition of Spinoza and Deleuze, with emphasis on the nexus of affect and power. The chapter starts with a section on conceptual foundations, first outlining the gist of a Spinozist understanding of affecting and being affected and, second, sketching the working concept of an “affective arrangement” as a bridge between the theoretical framework and a concrete analytical perspective. In the second part of the chapter, we will then present two case studies of “immersive” affective arrangements in contemporary white-collar workplaces, drawing on research literature in workplace ethnography, sociology and cultural studies.