Mentorordninger og ledighed: En undersøgelse af fremkomsten, brugen og potentialet ved mentorordninger i relation til ledige

Philip Zubin Hormozi Køppen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is a critical investigation into the birth, rise, establishment, operation and potential of mentor relationships as a technology for treatment of unemployment. In this context, also focusing on how the technology operates between ethics and power. The background for this study is the fast growth and spread of mentor relationships in Denmark within the last 10 years. This phenomenon has been praised for its positive outcomes and potential with regards to bringing vulnerable, longterm unemployed people closer to labor or education. However, a recent study suggests otherwise. By adopting a Foucauldian methodology, this thesis sets out to explore the discursive formations and genealogy of unemployment and the concept of ‘the mentor’. Furthermore, it will explore how these have shifted in the past by showing their connections to the emergence of different institutions and societal changes, thus showing the contingency of the mentor figure by demonstrating its originally roots in Ancient Greece, as well as how it has been influenced and changed with, especially, the rise of the coach, the therapist and the government. The shifts in the role of ‘the mentor’ has resulted in the modern mentor lacking the general education which was considered fundamental earlier on. Instead, an all-encompassing therapeutic, work and health-oriented counsellor is promoted. The unemployed person is marked and subjected as passive, excluded, alone, responsible, and the emergence of a culture increasingly dominated by self-realization culture the unemployed person to realize its working potential and the secrets that hinders it in it. In this connection, the implementation of the modern mentor becomes a relevant tool, since ‘the mentor’ can define and point out potential resources to both the unemployed person, as well as the government. The use of mentor relationships on unemployed persons works as a technology of the self and as hidden technology of power, which operates between ethics and power. The technology forces unemployed persons to passively subjectivate themselves in a specific way, thus creating a different relationship to itself - as a resource. By investigating the historical past use of ‘the mentor’ a neglected transforming and liberating potential is realized. This is further unfolded with the use of Foucault’s framework of the ethics of self and friendship as a way of life, thus resulting in recommendations for the further use of mentor relationships on unemployed persons.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages85