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Sorting people in and out: The plasticity of the categories of employability, work capacity and disability as technologies of government

Introduction: Employability and disability as floating signifiers

The trend in contemporary Western labour markets is one towards enhanced emphasis on competition, mobility, flexibility, and continuous learning. Increasingly, people are expected to assume individual responsibility for the development of their professional portfolios, their capacities, and for their career trajectories. In current labour market policy, there is an emphasis on the self-responsibilization of the individual as a recipe for achieving a greater degree of dynamism in labour markets (e.g.

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