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Becoming Flexible: Self-flexibility and its Pedagogies


  • We would like to thank the editors of this special issue, the reviewers for their insights and ideas and in particular for pushing our thinking on reflexivity and Caroline Gatrell, Ellie Hamilton and Valerie Stead for insightful comments.

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Much of the debate on flexibility has remained at a stubbornly macro, demographic level without looking closely at individual attempts to become more flexible. This paper argues that the debate on flexibility has been dominated by attention to the structural side, looking at flexi-time and part-time contracting, for example, to the neglect of what we call self-flexibility through self-reflexivity and self-transformation. The paper begins to redress this imbalance drawing upon two different cases which examine specific forms of self-flexibility: feedback and personal malleability and risk-taking through experiential learning. Drawing upon sociological research, we seek to examine critically the ways in which self-flexibilities are taken up and pursued by employees in their attempts to remain employable and their gendered implications.

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