The Governable Person

Written by Jack Boulton

‘The examination combinesrepparttar techniques of an observational hierarchy and those of a normalising judgment. It is a normalising gaze, a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, to classify and to punish. It establishes over individuals a visibility through which one differentiates them and judges them.’ (Foucault 1975: 184)

Going to work is no longer as simple as doing a particular job in a particular place. By taking part inrepparttar 132251 hierarchical system ofrepparttar 132252 office,repparttar 132253 worker also takes on responsibilities to other people and departments that are not directly linked to his line of work. The designer, for example, indirectly becomes associated withrepparttar 132254 accountant as soon as his or her work efficiency comes under scrutiny.

Time management is one ofrepparttar 132255 most important aspects ofrepparttar 132256 work environment. Inrepparttar 132257 capitalist economy our time becomes worth money and therefore also becomes accountable to others. Personal accountability (in particularrepparttar 132258 concept ofrepparttar 132259 audit as discussed briefly last issue) is a relatively new field in anthropology; however there are several important issues to consider when looking at this topic: How is efficiency measured? Who creates these rules? Are they based on historical evidence or on present day circumstances? This essay will address these questions using evidence from Douglas, Power and Strathern, amongst others.

Efficiency inrepparttar 132260 Light of Failure ‘When transaction costs mount for one reason or another, a bureaucratic organisation offers an employment relation which can produce trust, develop expertise, and provide flexible continuity, and these combined can outweigh its insufficiencies.’ (Douglas 1992: 71)

Douglas points out that regulating bodies are employed when costs, or outlay, become too high or are unjustifiable forrepparttar 132261 product that is being sold. In some respects this can be seen asrepparttar 132262 introduction of a standardised system to regulate a transaction which, at least in terms of financial efficiency, has failed. In layman’s terms, someone is not doing their job properly torepparttar 132263 extent that costs are spiraling torepparttar 132264 point whererepparttar 132265 finished product is not worthrepparttar 132266 asking price. This is similar to Illich’s (1978) idea of crisis. He suggests that in times of misfortune personal liberties are withdrawn and supervisory power from further uprepparttar 132267 social hierarchy is bought into play in order to rectifyrepparttar 132268 situation. Perhaps one ofrepparttar 132269 ways that this ‘higher power’ takes form is withrepparttar 132270 audit which, according to Power (1997), is one ofrepparttar 132271 most important methods of assessingrepparttar 132272 efficiency of an organisation. In principle this is a method of verification and checking, and Powers definesrepparttar 132273 crucial aspects of this:

·Independence fromrepparttar 132274 matter being audited ·Technical work inrepparttar 132275 form of evidence gathering andrepparttar 132276 examination of documentation ·The expression of a view based on this evidence ·A clearly defined object ofrepparttar 132277 audit process (Power 1997: 5)

Established, examinable systems of audit exist inrepparttar 132278 fields of both health and medicine, and teaching. Whilst in some waysrepparttar 132279 implementation of audit systems can be seen as positive - by imposing clear regulations of high standards - some people argue thatrepparttar 132280 new managerialism involved in maintaining these standards instills insecurity inrepparttar 132281 workplace (Shore and Wright 2000, Power 1997).

Making Auditees. It is one thing to suggest that an audit system should be bought in at a time of crisis but another that it should remain in place indefinitely. Foucault (1997) suggests thatrepparttar 132282 consequence of continual observation – a larepparttar 132283 panopticon,repparttar 132284 glass prison in whichrepparttar 132285 prisoners are constantly visible torepparttar 132286 guards although not vice-versa – is to ‘instill anxiety such that inmates come to scrutinise their own behaviour and eventually adoptrepparttar 132287 norms of conduct desired byrepparttar 132288 disciplinary institution whether or notrepparttar 132289 guards are inrepparttar 132290 watchtower.’ (Shore and Wright 2000: 77). Strathern (2000) puts forward that by moving from its’ birthplace inrepparttar 132291 world of accounting torepparttar 132292 professional world,repparttar 132293 audit brings with it a whole new range of cultural ideas and values upon which institutions can be rendered culturally legitimate. Moreover, she suggests that ‘procedures for assessment have social consequences, locking up time, personnel and resources, as well as locking intorepparttar 132294 moralities of public management.’ (2000: 2). Shore and Wright elaborate this, suggesting that audit practices ‘are agents forrepparttar 132295 creations of new kinds of subjectivity: self-managing individuals who render themselves auditable.’ (2000: 57). The relevance torepparttar 132296 modern workplace is obvious; as we are given criteria to fit into – for example, spending x amount of time doing y on a particular day, between particular times – we either conform and keep our jobs, or we do not, and runrepparttar 132297 risk of losing them. By conforming we are constructing an idea of a professional person, which is by no means natural, and, perhaps more disturbingly, is based on meeting someone else’s yardstick.

ACLU is at it again

Written by Terry Dashner


God help us, please! The ACLU is at it again. This time their secular agenda is targetingrepparttar Pentagon, having brought civil litigation againstrepparttar 132249 United States military for their 50 year history of sponsoringrepparttar 132250 Boy Scouts of America. This news has left a foul taste in my mouth for some reason. I’ve got to vent to get some relief. Please indulge me.

It seems, all of a sudden after 50 years of helpingrepparttar 132251 Boy Scouts of America with camping facilities and other support measures,repparttar 132252 US military has now been told byrepparttar 132253 ACLU in federal civil-court that they can no longer administerrepparttar 132254 oath that scouts take—pledging a belief in God. (Yes, that’s really a national concern, I’m sure.)

Actually if you look beyondrepparttar 132255 smoke screen of this play, you must admit that this is nothing more than retribution byrepparttar 132256 ACLU for losing in federal court, some time ago, regarding allowing homosexual—participants and counselors—inrepparttar 132257 scouting program. Then again, it’s alsorepparttar 132258 ACLU’s agenda to secularize America—removing every semblance of God from federal properties.

Let me give yourepparttar 132259 scenario that played out before my eyes last evening. I was watching a news program on a cable news-network. The host ofrepparttar 132260 news program was interviewing a First Amendment attorney, regardingrepparttar 132261 litigation efforts ofrepparttar 132262 ACLU againstrepparttar 132263 Boy Scouts of America.

The attorney was in full form. Although he was brave enough to speak in favor ofrepparttar 132264 ACLU, he did nothing more than repeatrepparttar 132265 same-old-worn-out-argument aboutrepparttar 132266 violation of separation of church and state. When is that line (from a Thomas Jefferson letter) going to die? (Nowhere inrepparttar 132267 United States Constitution do I findrepparttar 132268 words, “separation of church and state.”)

I looked atrepparttar 132269 attorney onrepparttar 132270 TV screen. I didn’t care for his hair style, but I liked his fine, expensive looking suit and tie. I’m sure, by his choice of attire, that he was doing very well financially— defendingrepparttar 132271 First Amendment againstrepparttar 132272 evil adversaries ofrepparttar 132273 United States likerepparttar 132274 Boy Scouts of America andrepparttar 132275 Pentagon ofrepparttar 132276 United States. I don’t know about you, but I, a US citizen, retired police officer, Navy veteran, registered voter, and a current pastor of a local church do not, inrepparttar 132277 least, feel threatened byrepparttar 132278 Boy Scouts of America and their oath before God.

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