Immersion at Work. Affect and Power in Post-Fordist Work Cultures
Mühlhoff, Rainer; Slaby, Jan – 2018
This chapter is an exploration of some of the ways in which relational affect has been turned into a subtle device for governing individuals. It focuses on present-day workplace arrangements in network corporatism or, more generally, post-Fordism. The purpose is also a theoretical one, namely that of consolidating a philosophical conception of relational affect in the tradition of Spinoza and Deleuze, with an 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, then second, sketching the working concept of an affective arrangement as a bridge between theoretical framework and concrete analytical perspective. The second part of the chapter presents two case studies of immersive affective arrangements in contemporary white-collar workplaces, drawing on research literature in workplace ethnography, sociology, and cultural studies.