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Lecture 8

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Lecture 8 2Q06 Nov. 7 Work: Women and Men Part 2 Lecture 8, Soc 2Q06E November 7, 2012 Precarious Employment  has risen in light of current economic trends  your experience of work depends where you work  Includes diverse forms of work involving:  1. Limited social benefits and statutory entitlements no government pay leaves)  2. Job insecurity- part time and contract  3. Low wages  4. High risks to health  (Leah Vosko, 2006, 2000)  Standard employment relationship  Full time continuous employment relationship where the worker has one employer, works on the employers premises under his or her direct supervision, normally in a unionized environment, and has access to social benefits and entitlements that complete the social wage.  This would be work that the baby boom had access to  Designed to cushion to design the effects of a fluctuating economy  Enable the worker to reproduce (get married, buy a house)  This was the normative model  1. Shift away from SER since the early 1970s and the corresponding spread of the temporary employment relationship are two trends which indicate the feminization of employment.  Since the 1970s there has been a shift towards the temporary work relationship. Workers are increasingly located at the margins of the economy  Treated like commodities (from capitalism)  Not only is the labour a commodity, but the worker himself becomes one  Removal of security  (Vosko, 2000)  “It feels like you’re supposed to conduct yourself like a regular employee with none of the advantages of it. It is a bit odd to be in a situation where you recognize that more than the work you do for the company, your real worth to them is your disposability. They don’t want me because I am good at what I do. They want me because they can get rid of me easily” (Respondent from study by Vosko, 2000:14)  When companies talk about greater need of flexibility in employment, they are talking about the nonstandard forms of working arrangements, it is to meet the needs of consumption (i.e. gets more busy around Christmas)  Part time work in U.S. 30 hours  Canada- 30 hours or less  We have seen a rise in the industries that require this type of labour force  Increasingly in areas such as publishing, insurance, retail  Work away from the office and work at home  Non standard relationship does not necessarily mean you have a bad wage but it lacks regularity and does not enable you to think long term Good jobs and Bad jobs  Good job: enables you to provide for the necessities of life (rent, mortgage, car)  Contributes to your self-esteem  Identity  Sense of order  Sense of belonging- to a particular firm  Gives us some sort of job satisfaction  Fulfilling  Assembly line work is described as having low levels of autonomy- no really job satisfaction  (Hodson, Sullivan, 2008: 55)  Alienation:  Workers became increasingly estranged and alienated from their products  Works of Marx  The work that an individual is doing that provides no satisfaction and is purely for economic reasons  Self- actualization – morality, creativity, acceptance, experience purpose, meaning and inner potential  From artisanal to mass produced factors- become alienated from that work  They become alienated from the product your making  Labour Devoid of meaning  Become estranged from the person your working beside because there is increasing competition between the people who you should be intrinsically inclined to work with  Occurred in four ways:  1. Workers no longer owned their goods, what the produced was not important to them, they became alienated / estranged from their product.  2.Their labour devoid of any meaning  3. Fight to get their jobs (became alienated from fellow workers)  4. Unable to fulfill all the things we are truly capable of (Vallas et al. 2009: 18).  Under capitalism we never get a change or have time to reach self actualization  (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on next slide) PRINT  Psychological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem, self actualization  Workers are usually concerned with the first 2 needs (psychological, safety and security)  People have this concept of what a job is. A job is something where you go in and you are now secure. You have tenure. You are there for life, until retirement. Jobs no longer exist. Everything now is temporary. It may be for an hour, a day, a week, a month, five years, but it is still temporary. We need to get away from the concept of a ‘job’ in the way that it used to be considered----you know, among the parents and the grandparents---and start thinking in terms of work. Work is effort for pay…work may turn into a job. However, there are very few jobs out there. But there is a lot of work available.  (Taken from Vosko study, 2000: 230)  People have a concept of what a job is  Jobs no longer exist and everything now is temporary  need to get away from what the job used to be considered (used to work in a place till retirement)  work has evolved into something that is increasingly alienated  The Gender of Precarious Employment in Canada (
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