The dark side of work: Psychological violence in the workplace

A panel discussion that is part of the 2019-2020 Sadler seminar series on suicide risk and locality led by Dr Cathy Brennan (School of Medicine).

The contemporary workplace has been marked by a rise of psychological violence, so that violence is no longer necessarily a form of constraint exerted on the physical body and its productive resources, but a mode of coercion that is exerted on the mind, emotions and the subjective self. Recent studies point to the deleterious consequences of psychological violence for mental health, with rising cases of work-related suicides in countries such as France, China, Japan, the United States and Australia.

The panel explores the phenomenon of psychological violence examining its causes, manifestations and consequences from a range of disciplinary perspectives including psychology, sociology and fiction.

The panel draws on primary research carried out in both the UK and France.

Sam Farley (Lecturer in Organizational Psychology, Leeds University Business School) examines the phenomenon of cyberbullying in the workplace and the use of technology as a mode of coercion, considering its impact on mental strain and suicidal ideation.

Martin Goodman (PhD French fiction, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies) examines how workplace bullying is represented in contemporary French fiction and how story-telling can provide a unique insight into the complex and lived experiences of bullying.

Sarah Waters (Professor of French Studies) focuses on the case of France Télécom/Orange where psychological violence was used as a formal management tool, resulting in a wave of employee suicides and a criminal trial against company bosses.

The panel will raise questions about the complex connections between work, violence and mental health in the contemporary globalised workplace and shed light on the possible causes of rising suicides in the workplace.

No need to register to attend this, please just come along on the day.