Training for Work at the Margins of the Projective City

Marhuenda-Fluixá, Fernando/Molpeceres-Pastor, Ángeles (2020)

In Rachwał, Tadeusz/Hepp, Rolf/Kergel, David (eds.), Precarious Places. Social, Cultural and Economic Aspects of Uncertainty and Anxiety in Everyday Life. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 51-71.


“Drawing upon the work by Boltanski and Chiapello and Boltanski and Thévenot, the training provision that is offered in Spain both to vulnerable youth and to socially excluded adults is analyzed here. It is too often the case that trainers in those programs work under temporary contracts. The reason for this is that the institutions they work for, often Non Governmental Organizations but also municipalities or trade unions, work under the so called projective city—i.e., a connectionist rationale. This fact has an impact upon the notion of work that these trainers portray to trainees attending their vocational training schemes, on-the-job training as well as guidance support. It is also the case that multiple and competing demands placed upon such institutions and trainers result in a fragile balance that seriously threatens their effectiveness. If transition programs and processes from education into work for vulnerable people are settled upon precarious conditions, they may be questioned for attempting control rather than transformative or emancipatory practices. The role of work as an axis for integration policies and for social inclusion is therefore under scrutiny, particularly when the trainees occupy the lowest levels of qualification and their employability will hardly compete with that of people that have not undergone processes of social exclusion. Precarity affects both the youth and adult themselves as the trainers and institutions trying to foster their employability. Raising consciousness about these issues might allow those providing vocational training in the margins of the educational and training system to those in the margins of society to perform their work in alternative ways.”