The art of not governing too much in vocational rehabilitation encounters
This chapter uses ethnomethodological conversation analysis (CA) to investigatethe empirical manifestations of governmentality in vocational rehabilitationencounters in the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. Howcan the counsellors’ actions be understood as conducting the conduct of clientsin the setting of vocational rehabilitation? How do the counsellors’ practices,especially their ways of dealing with client resistance, relate to the core idea ofgovernmentality as governing, not at the cost of, but through the freedom ofindividuals? The chapter analyses the dialogue techniques in six instances inwhich the client uses silence and minimal response tokens to resist the counsellor’sactions. Earlier CA research has suggested counsellors have a ratherunilateral orientation to client resistance. However, this analysis reveals a moreresponsive orientation, since it demonstrates how counsellors choose inviting,non-intrusive action designs in the first place, as well as make adjustments tothe cued client resistance. These practices may be understood as evidencing atechnology of sensibility, co-constituting the client’s agency in situ.