Compulsory Income Management (CIM) is a neoliberal approach to social security provision that has been deployed in Australia since 2007. It sees a large portion of welfare recipients’ social security payments quarantined for use on ‘essentials’ like food and bills. Quarantined funds are placed on a specially issued debit card and cannot be spent on prohibited items. Scholars have suggested that CIM – like other forms of welfare conditionality – aims to socialise individuals into identities as responsible neoliberal citizens. Yet extant studies have rarely examined the lived realities of this scheme in terms of the subjectivities it produces. Drawing on 32 interviews with individuals subject to CIM in Queensland, Australia, this chapter shows that CIM does not exclusively produce enthusiastic would-be workers. It also creates forms of dysfunction and distress that themselves serve the political and economic order by pre-emptively thwarting class resistance. In this context, the formation of affective communities of support can be a powerful form of resistance.
|Title of host publication||Social Suffering in the Neoliberal Age|
|Editors||Karen Soldatic, Louise St Guillaume|
|Place of Publication||Uk|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|