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Lecture

SOC341H5 Lecture Notes - Neoliberalism, Chindia, Commodification


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC341H5
Professor
Cynthia Cranford

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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
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