EGRG Symposium 1999

Annual Symposium 1999 – Precarious employment

UCL, London

In the 1990s there has been growing evidence of a widespread shift towards precarious forms of employment in the developed world. In the US, for example, Cappelli et al (1997) have documented the growth in contingent work – inherently precarious types of contracts which includes temporary employment – to reflect the ,disassembling’ of internal work structures. Similarly, in their Post-Work Manifesto, Aronowitz et al (1998) highlight the growth of workplace insecurity, supported by the increased prevalence of precarious forms of work and the shrinking number of ‘permanent’ jobs. The growing incidence of precarious employment across all occupations has prompted them to ask whether societies are heading for a future in which the `good job rapidly becomes the subject of museum shows?’ Taking this theme on, the one-day seminar draws together four academics who have worked extensively in the area of work and welfare. Moving beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, the seminar aims to make a contribution to current political, policy and popular debates around the future of work. It focuses on the existence of precarious forms of employment and draws on research from Europe and the US. This is supplemented by, and integrated into, an analysis of the role of the state in the regulation of the workplace and of welfare insecurity.

Flexible working, equal opportunities or a missed opportunity?. Diane Perrons (Department of Geography and Gender Institute, LSE).
Contingent Chicago: restructuring the spaces of temporary labour. Jamie Peck (School of Geography and International Centre for Labour Studies, University of Manchester).
Precarious labour in context. John Allen (Department of Geography,Open University).