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Psykhe (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2228

Abstract

FARDELLA, Carla et al. Labor Identities and Ethics of Public Work in Times of Accountability. Psykhe [online]. 2016, vol.25, n.2, pp.1-11. ISSN 0718-2228.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/psykhe.25.2.789.

Based on the perspective of psychosocial studies of labor identities, this paper studies how accountability devices, promoted by current public administration trends, are locally assessed and interpreted. Within a larger 3-year study, the article reports on the analysis of interviews conducted during a multiple-case ethnographic study which included 2 primary health care centers, 2 municipal schools, and 2 institutions that implement social policies located in Santiago and Valparaíso (Chile), chosen through theoretical sampling. The study analyzed 82 interviews with teachers, primary health professionals, and officials working in agencies that implement social policies. Results show how the interviewees bring into question what their work actually involves, noting that what accountability devices prescribe does not match what their work is nor what it should be. The actions and assessment criteria defended by the interviewees constitute what other researchers have labelled ethics of public work, which these devices may be weakening.

Keywords : accountability; public policy; labor identity; ethic of work; discourse analysis.

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