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Disciplined AgencyNeoliberal Precarity, Generational Dispossession and Call Centre Labour in Portugal$
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Patrícia Alves de Matos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134981

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134998

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The moral economy of labourer production in call centres

The moral economy of labourer production in call centres

(p.56) 4 The moral economy of labourer production in call centres
Disciplined Agency

Patrícia Alves de Matos

Manchester University Press

Chapters 4 to 6 examine how the specific shape of Portuguese flexible capitalism, the disjuncture in historically bounded generational expectations, and the tensions attached to the cultural and social meanings of precarity are expressed in the call centre labour process. These chapters progressively unravel the institutionalisation of a system of labour exploitation designated as a regime of disciplined agency. Chapter 4 explores how call centres present their recruitment, training and job allocation practices to candidates. The set of organisational processes through which young recruits learn to be call centre operators are based on specific procedures that establish specific modes of conduct and behaviour through which subjectivities are organised and disciplined in the early stages of training. The hiring processes, built upon the moral-laden and the nationally institutionalised employment conditions of uncertainty and powerlessness, become fundamental mechanisms by which workers' individuality and skills are linguistically and practically constructed as containers of subordination and agency.

Keywords:   recruitment, training, moral economy, subordination, agency

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