Wednesday Talks-19: “Normalizing Networking: Blurring Social Good with Personal Profit in Neoliberal Times”

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Date: March 2, 2016 Wednesday
Time: 17.00
Place: santralistanbul Campus, E2-302

Speaker: Ufuk Coşkun

Wednesday Talks are organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Department of Sociology. The language of the seminar is Turkish.

"In this talk, I examine networking discourse in career workshops for job-seeking, college educated Americans. Career experts emphasize the importance of networking to find jobs. Participant observation and interview data reveal that while job seekers agree that networking is important, they dislike the idea of doing it. Career experts do cultural work to convince job seekers that networking can be done anytime, anywhere, and with anybody. In particular, career experts encourage volunteering as a networking activity in which job seekers can both give back to the community and search for a job at the same time. This expansion of a rent-seeking activity to everyday life and community service is a manifestation of neoliberalism which aims to blur the boundaries between work and non-work as well as social good and personal profit."

Ufuk Coşkun:
Ufuk Coşkun is a former Fulbright scholar and recently got his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona. His research examines how career development intersects with social relations, emotional management, and class identity.