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The ‘sellable semblance’: Employability in the context of mental-illness

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization
Issue number4
Volume13
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)809-824
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Embedded within the concept of employability is the constant demand to become more
‘employable’ and to live up to an ideal ‘sellable self’, with no ‘faults’, ‘weaknesses’ or
‘limitations’. In order to maintain employability and stay in employment, individuals may
be constrained to conceal information that does not correspond to this sellable self.
Examining the costs of living up to the ‘semblance’ of the sellable self is particularly
important in relation to mental health; this is even more so in light of the paucity of
critical studies in this context. This paper examines issues of mental health and
employability as they are reflected upon through the experiences of people with mental
health conditions. Looking at the employment experiences of these individuals offers the
potential to illuminate the struggles of all, or most of us, in our endeavours to secure
employment and retain employability.