Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“To act like a professional – to be professional in one’s work – calls for subjective investment in an identification with work, but also a kind of affective distancing from it. A professional invests his or her person in the job but does not “take it personally” when dealing with difficult co-workers, clients, patients, students, passengers, or customers. As an ideal of worker subjectivity, this requires not just the performance of a role, but a deeper commitment of the self, an immersion in an identification not just with work, but with work discipline. The popular injunction to “be professional”, to cultivate a professional attitude, style, and persona, serves as one way that the autonomy, especially of immaterial workers, can be managerially constituted up and down the post-Fordist labour hierarchy.”

Weeks, Kathi. The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, 74-75.