A1 Journal article (refereed)
Empowerment as an affective-discursive technology in contemporary capitalism : insights from a play (2020)

Nissi, R., & Dlaske, K. (2020). Empowerment as an affective-discursive technology in contemporary capitalism : insights from a play. Critical Discourse Studies, 17(4), 447-467. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2019.1649161

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Nissi, Riikka; Dlaske, Kati

Journal or series: Critical Discourse Studies

ISSN: 1740-5904

eISSN: 1740-5912

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 17

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 447-467

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2019.1649161

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66272


Over recent years, an increasing body of research in social and cultural studies has investigated the contemporary processes of social change from the point of view of affective capitalism. In this article, we take under scrutiny one of its technologies, namely, empowerment, by which we mean a state characterised by feelings of strength, ability and power that enable agency. More specifically, we investigate the way empowerment is presented in a cultural product, a play that tells a story about personnel training in a factory, shown in a city theatre in Finland. By linking recent theorisation of affective capitalism with an investigation of the intertextual and interdiscursive relations of the play, we analyse how the factory workers’ pursuit for good life through empowerment recycles and exploits the affective-discursive elements of sexual and spiritual awakening. In conclusion, we discuss the play as a reflection of and on contemporary social processes. By presenting empowerment as a technology employed to interpellate in particular female subjects, the play contributes to the critique of neoliberalism as a gendered project, with women as its ideal subjects.

Keywords: capitalism; empowerment; influencing; gender; multimodality; plays; theatre (art forms)

Free keywords: capitalism; empowerment; gender; intertextuality; interdiscursivity; multimodality; theatre

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:20