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SOC341 Lecture 1.docx

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Cynthia Cranford

SOC341 What is Precarious Employment? Lecture 1 What is precarious employment? Vosko‟s main arguments/claims • Conceptualizing precarious employment  multidimensional phenomenon linked to employment restructuring • The dynamics of precarious employment  continuity through change  Historical argument  Suggests that things are different than the 19th century but there is somewhat still a continuity • Studying & limiting precarious employment  Some ways it is also a political argument  How we understand it in a way to limit precarious employment  It‟s not just what happens in the labour force but also beyond the labour force. E.g. household dynamics Conceptualizing Precarious Employment  multidimensional phenomenon linked to employment restructuring  Suggests that some do not look at health, that precarious employment is insecure (e.g. temporary), and also the quality of work is bad/low  Flexibility – a lot of restructuring is at the industrial level and at the firm level (what are firms doing to respond to competitive pressures)  Restructuring – about a break from the past  Economic restructuring – a break from the political structure linked with the growth of the welfare state and WWII  This restructuring point is about social change  And restructuring is a key reason to precarious employment  Sub-claim #1: Unhealthy, insecure work with few benefits or entitlements and low pay • Late 19th to the mid 20th Century: widespread and linked with immigration • 1940s to the early 1970s: declined but linked with gender segmentation • Early 1970s - today: growth and spread to more groups of workers • Restructuring part is about a change over time • E.g. seasonal agricultural workers, use of immigrant labour to construct the railway, live in domestic work, labour brokers who would fine people work) • Standard employment relationship (SER) – a full time continuous employment relationship with a single employer usually working on the employers premises and under the direct supervision of that employer, and has access to social benefits and entitlements that complete the social wage. It is a normative (most common) relationship and came to be associated with certain outcomes, e.g. workers comp. health and dental plans • Industrial unionism – a multi occupational form of unionism, distinct from craft unionism, organized around a single worksite or enterprise that takes the standard employment relationship as a norm. Labour law , legislation, and policy in SOC341 What is Precarious Employment? Lecture 1 Canada and Quebec commonly assume this form of unionism. Historically, this form of unionism has been organized around industries as opposed to occupation. • Gender contract – (gender - a social process that turns differences into equality). • Early 1970‟s  Global industrial restructuring  Before precarious employment was limited to certain types of groups. (e.g. women), and in this time it spread to more group of workers, maybe more men are more likely to be in precarious employment then in the post WWII period  Have a growth of part time and temporary work • Sub-claim #2: Precarious employment is shaped by: • Here it is a multidimensional relationship • employment status - Vosko means this by someone‟s status as an employee under the law or self employed • form of employment (employment relationship/employment contract) – term when she is trying to get at mul
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