Gender complexities of non-mainstream or marginalised work and jobs outside the conventional boundaries of 'work' (sex industry, domestic and caring labour) are focus of Alternative Modes of Work stream at GWO Conference, Keele University, 27-29 June 2007. The stream welcomes abstracts on gender relations and the organization of gender in those jobs that are not mainstreamed, debating the complexities of work spaces and identities that are complicated in themselves because of their particular position in relation to the social structure, sitting outside the norms of conventional work and potentially outside the law. Alternative modes of working, whether in legal, illegal or ‘grey’ economies, force reflection on notions of `the product’, worker, management or venue as contesting the boundaries of acceptability. This encompasses work that represents the spectrum of physical, emotional, sexual and intellectual labour; industries that employ migrant, immigrant or underage workers; jobs that cut across the divides of the public and private spheres including ‘the domestic’ and ‘the intimate’ as a site of work. The contested nature of alternative modes of work can be examined through work that is considered part of the ‘disorder’ of society and provokes an `official’ reaction of control, prohibition or regulation. Temporary or seasonal economies that are built around occasional cultural and sporting events, music and carnival as well political conventions and tourism fall within the remit of the alternative modes of working.
We anticipate reflections on the impact of globalisation on the opportunities for, and modes of, alternative work, as well as research within areas that represent new cultural forms that are work, and yet are given little credibility as work. Economies where alternative modes of work are located often rest at the periphery of mainstream industries, but are significant to the consumption patterns of late modernity. Of particular interest are informal economies that stretch between the public and private, alongside illegal economies and ‘grey’ economies where some parts, but not all, of the activities are either illegal or ‘deviant’. We aim to attract research and commentary on alternative modes of work in a range of economies and industries that are in many cases, confrontational to traditional understandings of work.
Theoretically informed empirical papers, theoretical debate, and ‘ideas in progress’ are invited that comment on work tasks, identities and environments where there is evidence of the work existing outside the mainstream labour market. The focus on the complexity of gender relations could include one or more of the following dynamics:
Alternative work patterns and places
Working in the Sex Industry
Domestic & Caring Work
Globalisation and alternative modes of work
Researching Alternative Work
Gender, Work and Emotional Labour
Gendered Relationships with Customers
‘men only’ or ‘women only’ work environments
Gender relations and money
Gendered regulating of work
Cultural context of alternative forms of work
Teela Sanders, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK, T.L.M.Sanders@leeds.ac.uk
Laura María Agustín, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts of 500 words giving title of paper, keywords, contact details including your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address. Submission date for abstracts is 1st November 2006 . All abstracts will be peer reviewed. Please note that due to restrictions of space, multiple submissions by the same author will not be timetabled. New and young scholars with 'work in progress' papers are welcomed.
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