This essay will focus on the shaping of my personal life by social policy. I have written a small transcription on an episode of my working life which I feel made the biggest change to my personal life. The event was brought about by ill-health, but it was the way in which my working life was affected by my employers and the welfare system through social policy which changed the future of my personal life.
On reflection I can see how I felt alienated by my employers. The Marxist theory analyses the employee belonging to the employer due to a wage, and whilst I never considered myself belonging to my employer, I did consider that my job belonged to me because I wanted to keep my employment. ...view middle of the document...
I had taken it as a personal reflection on my ability to do my job, which in fact my ill-health had caused. The company had not caused my ill-health it was just a fact of nature, but I can see that I blamed my employers for making me one of the unemployed.
From my transcription I can see that there is a recurrent theme, "I was forced." (L1) and "I offered to continue to work from home" (L7), where I felt that my "personal" was affected by my loss of control or governance (Rose, P. 141) by losing my job. I had a position of managerial control which in itself placed me in an act of governance and I knew that by losing my job, I would never regain this position. However, it can later be seen in the transcription, "I have now become the employer." (L 23), that purely by chance my situation later placed me in a position of governance as I was constantly employing more carers to assist me with my life, thus becoming the employer rather than the employee.
Although they are both positions of governance, they are very different. The first, as an employee within a large organisation gave me a position of governance and a salary allowing my "personal" a social position within society as an employed person and enjoying the social company of my colleagues. But the second, as an employer gives me a position of governance providing salaries for employees, yet I still remain in society an unemployed person and although I enjoy the company of my employees there is a very different relationship as an employer rather than a colleague.
Harriet Harman said when she was Minister for Social Security in the Labour government in 2000, "work is the only route to sustained financial independence. But it is also much more. It is a way of life. It helps to fulfil our aspirations, is the key to independent self-respect." (P 155)
The recurrent theme of unemployment in my transcription shows that my "personal" also believed that work "is the only route to sustained financial independence." My identity was subjected by social policy from one of an employed person to an unemployed person without unsupported independent income.
I am sure that my employers did not want me to leave had I been in good health, I was a good worker, but my "critical illness" as it became known, was an inconvenience for them. Philipson's review of research in the area of retirement pathways (P 106) shows how my employers had the opportunity to "force early retirement" due to my long-term sickness and pending disability. Their method of "forced early retirement", at the time, seemed to me to be generous. My occupational pension became very important at a very early age. This policy provided by my employers...