Neoliberalism and work-related risks: Individual or collective responsibilization?

Peter Mascini, PHJ Achterberg, D Houtman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference contributionAcademic


Based on a representative sample of the Dutch population ( N = 2467), we test four hypotheses about how utilitarian individualism in?uences the responsibili-zation of work-related risks (i.e. the risk of dropping out of work because of 10unemployment, disability, or sickness). The risk society hypothesis understands utilitarian individualism as a laisser-faire ideological orientation and assumes it to lead to individual responsibilization. The blame culture hypothesis conceives utilitarian individualists as consumer citizens and predicts the reverse – that those concerned expect to be protected by the government. The resentment 15hypothesis assumes that particularly utilitarian individualists with a vulnerable labor-market position individualize responsibility, because they distrust those who share their fate more than others do. The narcissism hypothesis reverses this logic, because it assumes that utilitarian individualists ’ narcissistic self-centeredness entices them to make others responsible for their own risks. The 20two hypotheses predicting an individualization of work-related risk due to utilitarian individualism are both con ?rmed, whereas the two hypotheses predicting it to result in their collectivization are both rejected.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2013
EventVSR-jaarvergadering - Doorn
Duration: 17 Jan 201318 Jan 2013




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