Is call centre surveillance self-developing? Capacities and recognition at work

Dale Tweedie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses call centre work in light of two philosophical approaches to self-development at work. The first approach stems from James Murphy's (re)reading of Aristotle; it argues that working can develop technical, social and moral capacities that are constitutive of human flourishing. The second approach is derived from Axel Honneth's and Christophe Dejours's theories of recognition, in which institutional and interpersonal recognition at work can develop the practical self-relations that are necessary for autonomous action. From both theoretical perspectives the contribution of work to self-development is Janus-faced, because work can either create or destroy pre-conditions of workers' well-being. The experiences of call centre workers under intense workplace surveillance illustrate both these possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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