Recognising health and social care workers during the pandemic and beyond
Unfortunately, this event has now been cancelled
This talk develops a critique of the discourse of heroism used to position health and social care professionals, and other key workers, during the COVID pandemic. It does so in order to reflect on the insights into workplace inequalities that this example provides, in particular into what we might think of as the conditions necessary for a workable life. It argues that, although it might seem paradoxical, the heroic discourses and symbolism used to recognize health and social care workers throughout the pandemic can be understood as a form of ‘hate speech’ in Judith Butler’s terms, one that subjected key workers to a harmful form of recognition which had the effect of undermining their capacity to challenge and resist this positioning. The talk ends by exploring scope for more meaningful ways of recognising those who care for, with and about others.
This talk will follow a talk from Norman Riley, Department of Sociology - Men, Meat and Manliness: a qualitative investigation of food and masculinities among working-class men at 1pm
Professor - Organisation Studies and Human Resource ManagementEssex Business School, University of Essex
Melissa is a Professor of Work and Organisation Studies in the Organisation Studies/HRM group in EBS, and is co-director of the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) and of the CWOS Future of Creative Work research cluster. Her current research includes a project, with Philip Hancock, focusing on the impact of COVID on self-employed/freelance live performers in the UK. Melissa’s recent books include Soho at Work: Pleasure and Place in Contemporary London (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Judith Butler and Organisation Theory (Routledge, 2019).