Subjectivity, work and action

Christophe Dejours About the author

This paper produces some issues for debate on the relationships between work and subjectivity. Under this perspective, work implies, from a human point of view, the fact of working: gestures, know-how, a commitment of the body, the mobilization of intelligence, the ability to reflect, to interpret and to react to situations; it is the power of feeling, of thinking and of inventing. Actual work is always affectively manifested to the subject, whereby a primordial distress relationship is established, experienced by the subject, embodied. To work is to fill the gap between the prescribed and the real. This is why an important part of the effective work remains in the shade, and cannot, therefore, be assessed. Another question concerns the agreements built by workers within the collective of a team or of a job, which always present a double vectorization: from the one hand, a work efficacy and quality goal; on the other hand, a social goal. A discussion of the psychodynamics of work theory is also proposed, where the work centrality is one of their pillars as well as the psychoanalytical theory, where this issue is not directly approached.

Subjectivity and work; suffering; prescribed and real; work centrality

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