Sub-theme 33: MERGED with sub-theme 24!


Call for Papers

Work is an organisational and structural principle of society, subject to historical transformation processes. This goes beyond securing people's incomes and accounts also for the psychosocial functions of employment, integration, participation, citizenship and social cohesion (Korten, 1981). Yet, for people in the neo-liberalist, austerity-led economies (Konings, 2009), currently dominating European fiscal policy, work patterns are becoming increasingly precarious (Beck, 2000; Sennett, 2000; Standing, 2011; ILO, 2012), with alarmingly high levels of unemployment escalating and threatening social cohesion. Nevertheless, beyond the global occupy and anti-austerity protest movements, we are also witnessing the emergence of complex, global interdependencies among operationally autonomous organizations with shared interests, and institutional, community-driven entrepreneurial initiatives.

Uncertainty and complexity result in the assertion and utilization of local cultures, values, assets and resources, and, gradually, in alternative forms of organizing. The newly formed assemblages of unemployed, underemployed, deprived and dispossessed seem to be responding to the vulnerability of their prescribed 'role' as passive subjects. They have started developing new organizing possibilities and collaboratively are moving forward from just assembling in actual and virtual public places to also (re)building local community, entrepreneurial arrangements. The study therefore of these emergent, and sometimes ephemeral, forms of organizing under unstable, still (trans-) forming, socio-economic relations becomes important. Further, new work relations emerge and processes are co-constructed as vulnerable communities are becoming embedded in a new landscape of organizing under abrupt and rapid transformation. We invite original methodologies (e.g. visual methodologies, autobiographical accounts) in documenting the lived experience of crisis and papers that focus on the following (non-exhaustive list):

  • Going beyond the grand narrative of 'the global financial crisis' to contribute narratives on the practice of living without, or with hardly any, work.
  • Discourses of crisis and how do they impact upon collective definitions of work/employment relations and professional and personal identity.
  • Theorizing institutional change in crisis and effects for organizations or contexts of organizing.
  • Studies of the role of new media in affecting change in (work) communities and institutional re-arrangement.
  • Theoretical approaches and cases of organizing entrepreneurial practice in contexts of instability and flux and creating new forms of sociality and interventionary citizenship.
  • Processes of emergence, evolution, learning and leading in social/activist movements and community-based social/public initiatives (e.g., alternative currencies, workers' co-operatives, volunteerism, and other solidarity organizational forms like soup kitchens, exchange networks, etc.).



Beck, Ulrich (2000): The Brave New World of Work. Cambridge: Polity.
ILO – International Labour Organization (2012): World of Work Report: Better Jobs for a Better Economy. Geneva: ILO.
Kalleberg, Arne L. (2009): 'Precarious work, insecure workers: Employment relations in transition.' American Sociological Review, 74 (1), pp. 1–22.
Konings, Martijn (2009): 'Rethinking neoliberalism and the subprime crisis: Beyond the re-regulation agenda.' Competition and Change, 13 (2), pp. 108–127.
Korten, David C. (1981): 'The management of social transformation.' Public Administration Review, 41 (6, pp. 609-618.
Sennett, Richard (2000): The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. London: W.W. Norton.
Standing, Guy (2011): The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury.