The Making of Self-Reliant Citizens. Profiling Tools in Polish Unemployment Policy.
This article provides specific insights into a standardised “legibility tool”, which is used by frontline workers of Public Employment Offices to profile the unemployed in Poland. Profiling involves dividing all unemployed into 3 categories after a computer-based interview. Individuals are scored according to their presumed “distance to labour market” and “work readiness” to turn them into “into ranked and rated objects” (Citron, Pasquale, 2014: 3). Based on document and software analysis as well as in-depth interviews with policy-makers, frontline staff and unemployed, two specific questions will be addressed. First, we will reconstruct the implicit way of thinking and normative assumptions behind this categorisation tool, that positively values self-reliance, flexibility and low expectations concerning future employment conditions. Second, we will analyse how those, who are not up to this norm, are disciplined and excluded from most of active labour market policies.