Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Boland T.
Culture, Theory, and Critique
Jobseeking as pilgrimage: trials of faith in the labour market
Optional Fields
economic theology genealogy Jobseeking pilgrimage Weber
Jobseeking is increasingly frequent within contemporary labour markets characterised by temporary contracts, flexible projects and precarious ‘gig-work’–with economic shocks such as the Financial Crash and COVID-19 pandemic creating waves of redundancy and mass unemployment. How individual job-changers and jobseekers make sense of their experiences and shape their own conduct is explored here, drawing inspiration from the emergent turn to ‘economic theology’ to consider the continued influence of Christian legacies of pilgrimage. To supplement Turner’s understanding of pilgrimage as liminal ritual, the article adapts Weber’s Protestant Ethic thesis and Foucault’s later works on ‘modes of veridiction’, forms of tests and trials which ‘tell the truth’ about the subject. Thus, jobseeking pilgrimages are less seasonal collective religious ritual than a continuous individualised ethic; contemporary jobseeking involves pilgrimages of constantly deciphering signs, putting oneself to the test via the market and self-purification and transformation.
Grant Details