Understanding Lived Experiences
Edited by Emma Bell, Sorin Gog, Anca Simionca and Scott Taylor
Chapter 2: Running to stay in the same place? Personal development work and the production of neoliberal subjectivity among Israels last republican generation
This chapter explores the role of new therapeutic technologies such as life coaching in the production of neoliberal subjectivities among Israel’s veteran middle class. Based on 46 interviews with middle-class Israeli coaches born in the 1950s and early 1960s, it shows how the adoption of the entrepreneurial and individualistic ideology of coaching allows members of this generational unit to reposition themselves and come to terms with the decline of Labour Zionism as an all-encompassing master narrative that gave meaning and value to their life trajectories. By adhering to the neoliberal logics of self-appreciation and self-value accrual and embracing entrepreneurial qualities such as flexibility, risk taking and openness to change, they avoid becoming obsolete and ratify their relevance as a national “service elite” in the new Israeli neoliberal order.
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