THE RISE OF INTERN ECONOMY. INTERNSHIP AND INFORMALIZATION OF LABOR IN THE ITALIAN CONTEXT
University of Bologna, Italy
In recent times, the use of internship has spread worldwide across sectors, and has become increasingly present in labor policies, educational programs and recruiting strategies. Nonetheless, the explosion of intern economy has also attracted the attention of journalists and activists because of its abuses as unpaid work. Furthermore, the word internship seems to be an umbrella term to cover different job descriptions and responsibilities, thus contributing to its relegation as one of the weakest positions in labor market.
The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework to understand the reason of such an explosion, and to focus on internships as the new frontier of precarization. The lack of recognition of interns’ working activities, due to historical reasons, allows employers to avoid their obligations, including, but not only, that of paying a salary. Furthermore, its educational aim not only legitimize the lack of recognition of interns' working activities, but it seems to be very efficient when used by employers to control and govern the labor force. Thus, flexibilization, moralization and feminization are some of the effects that the informal status of internship produce in the workplace. In sum, interns do not only provide cheap labor; they are also flexible, motivated and proactive. Finally, the paper argues how the rise of intern economy can be understood as part of the increasing informalisation of labor that Europe is facing in recent times.
Statistics on the use of internship in the Italian context will be presented to focus on the extent of intern economy, while interviews with interns from the province of Bologna will be used to analyze the effect of informalization in the workplaces.
‘Give back to my parents, and give back to the world’: Notions of Solidarity among Cosmopolitan Elite Students
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
In this paper I explore notions of solidarity among elite students who expressed cosmopolitan sentiments. Studying those who are about to make important decisions regarding their professional career and their place of residence provides a particularly good opportunity to understand not only how future elites attach to different entities at the local, national and global level but also how they ascribe significance to these feelings when projecting their future lives. In specific, I draw on data collected through in-depth interviews with 24 students at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2014. My findings show that there were three different ways in which students made sense of their cosmopolitan identities in relation to their career plans: Individualist cosmopolitans planned their careers regardless of their countries of origin since they did not feel attached to it. Rooted cosmopolitans planned on returning to their countries of origin because they felt a moral obligation towards their fellow countrymen. Practical cosmopolitans were also planning on returning but were not motivated by feelings of solidarity with their nation. Instead, they intended to realize their cosmopolitan ambitions in an environment familiar to them and in which they could bring their skills to bear in the best possible way.
Moreover, I found that, across all interviews, students’ feelings of solidarity with their immediate families were highly significant in how they projected their lives and in how they attached meaning to different entities. My analysis thus suggests the need to go beyond considering only particular locales, the nation or the world as objects of solidarity when studying young elites' cosmopolitanism and to stop regarding individualist cosmopolitans as deracinated.
De-differentiation and Hybridization between education, work and volunteerism. Risk and opportunities for Youth.
University of Genoa, Italy
The relation between education, work and other fields of action (leisure, solidarity action, political participation) is deeply changing. The boundaries become more and more porous. Individuals, and Youth in particular, are more and more committed in practices characterized by the intersection between education, work, leisure, and social and political action. The time devoted to different kinds of activities is no longer rigidly circumscribed, as well as the codes and their rules and procedures for actions.
Together, de-differentiation and hybridization represent a challenge for political regulation. They requires a deep revision of the policy traditionally implemented in these – formerly rigidly circumscribed – fields.
Goal of the paper is to critically assess risk and opportunities generated by de-differentiation and hybridization on the life-trajectories of Youth, and the policies that deal and try to manage these phenomena. Are these policies able to provide Youth instruments to innovate and to generate forma of resilience? Or do they run the risks to passively adapt to global economic trend, i.e. institutionalizing forms of un-paid or under-paid jobs?
We Focus on the combined effect of three laws recently approved in Italy, that contribute to deeply reframe the boundaries between education, work and volunteerism: the “Jobs Act” (L.183/2014) which change the entering of youth in the job market; the School Reform (L.107/2015), that makes it mandatory the school-to-work experience, and the Reform of the Third Sector (L.106/2016), which intervene in the regulation of the relation between work and volunteerism.
Agency, choice and structure in young people’s mobility. Reflections on a missing link.
1University of Bergen Norway; 2Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Norway
The contribution conceptualises the relation between agency and structure in mobility research by bringing back in the issue of choice. It argues that many contributions in the field of agency and structure have clouded the concept of choice by circuiting the cliffs of rational decision-making. In our view, this has led to an inability to explain the colourful strategies of young people manoeuvring through life course in general and concrete with respect to young people’s mobility. Thus, our goal is to revitalize the issue of choice in the agency debate – here especially in the field of youth mobility – and in doing so to provide a basis for advancing our understanding of young people’s mobility.
To develop and underline our argument we refer to qualitative data gathered in the context of the European H2020-project “Mapping mobility – pathways, institutions and structural effects of youth mobility in Europe (MOVE)”, which aims at contributing to the research in European youth mobility. Concretely 30 semi-structured interviews from the consortium partner Norway are used, which focus on young peoples’ own experience towards the ways in which they are and can be active agents regarding geographical mobility.