Leiðbeinandi: Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir
Heiti doktorsverkefnis: Vulnerable in a job interview? From Butler's ethics to Marxist politics
In recent years vulnerability has gained momentum both in feminist philosophy and as an interdisciplinary concept. The philosopher Judith Butler is well known for exposing how hidden ontological assumptions permeate social institutions and discourses but more recently she has been developing relational ontology of vulnerability vital for thinking ethics and politics together. In this dissertation I explore this ""turn"" to vulnerability as a response to the hyper-individuality of the neoliberal period and as a desire to realize a space for difference and multiple subjectivities in social terms.
However, why is it not happening? What is it that makes is it so difficult to present us as vulnerable, to acknowledge vulnerability? I argue that the social and historical conditions of the present need to be taken into account for a viable transition from an ontology of individualism to an ontology of vulnerability. Understanding that the need to exchange (and keep exchanging) one's labour-power – to promise an employer that one is an able worker – affects one's possibilities of being vulnerable. You cannot ""come out"" as a person with chronic illness in a job interview. Even in the case where an employer is likely to hire you, you would not take the risk of exposing such vulnerability, decreasing the likelihood of getting a job. Feeling vulnerable in a job-interview will thus be presented as an illustrative example of this present-day paradox of being vulnerable in various ways but being structurally required to present oneself as a desirable and able worker.