Conference Agenda

RS11_06: ‘Precarious families’
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Renato Miguel Carmo, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
Session Chair: Annalisa Murgia, University of Milan
Location: UP.4.212
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road


The Gendered Experience of Fixed-Term Employment: Putting the Consequences of Precarious Employment in Context of Gender and Household

Nils Teichler1, Nicolas Morgenroth2, Brigitte Schels1,3

1Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Germany; 2Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Germany; 3Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany

This study investigates differences in the effects of fixed-term employment on subjective job insecurity (SJI) by gender and household context. Previous research argues that gender differences in the subjective perception of objective precariousness, e.g. fixed-term employment, stem from gender inequalities on the labour market and, in particular, from the poorer labour market positions of women. Existing findings from diverse national contexts are, however, ambiguous. We argue furthermore that gender differences in SJI are moderated by the existence of partner and children because, then, traditional gender roles are important for the perception of fixed-term employment. We examine two research questions: Do the effects of fixed-term employment on subjective job insecurity differ by gender and household context? Can differences be explained by individual labour market positions and household status?

We use the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) for a sample of 20- to 45-year-old employed men and women. We identify the effect of fixed-term employment on SJI by applying linear Fixed Effect (FE) probability models in separate models for the household context and interaction-effects with gender. We test whether these effects are mediated by a set of labour market and household resources.

Results indicate that women are in general more affected by fixed-term employment than men. Gender differences are strongest in single households. Women’s vulnerability is reduced by having a partner and, even more, by having children. Labour market and household resources cannot explain this gender gap across household types. Obviously, temporary employment is worsening existing gender inequalities on the labour market.

Working Families And Precarious Life

Ieva Dryzaite

Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

This paper aims to discuss the impact of nowadays employment structure towards working family’s possibilities to maintain personal life and paid work balance. It is seemed that working families are more and more experiencing normalization and institutionalisation of precarious work forms in market places and political dimension, and it brings a lot of social problems (such as increasing divorce’s or distanced family’s numbers, depression, overwork or burnout, late childbirth practices, poverty, lack of mobility and possibility to ensure appropriate life chances to live a “liveable life” etc.) to the field. In this paper I argue that individual experiences which come from efforts to combine paid work and family have not just personal outcomes, but social as well. That’s why it is so important to stimulate interdisciplinary and deeply contextual dialog including such dimensions as family, care, paid work and time. All these dimensions will be discussed in the paper trying to elaborate ideas for further discussions and to stimulate more humanistic narrative about living “a liveable life” and working balance in nowadays society.

This paper will include short theoretical framework of precariousness, which will be supplemented and explained with empirical data collected in project “Families, inequalities and demographical processes” (project Nr. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0020, funded by EU Structural Funds programm 2014–2020) - 80 biographical interviews with various families from Lithuania and Lithuanian family survey data of 3000 respondents. The aim of the project is to identify the mutual interaction of family changes and socio-economic inequalities structures formed in the context of specific aggressive neoliberal capitalism in Lithuania.

Key word: precarious work, work feminisation, time, working family, work and family balance, welfare state, occupation, care.

Precarious Working Lives, Precarious Family And Social Lives? A Qualitative Study Investigating The Interrelationship Of Life Spheres.

Kim Bosmans

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

In the current political-economical context, labour market flexibility is increasingly presented as a pursuable goal. Certainly among lower skilled workers, this provoked the growth of insecure and precarious forms of employment. The impact of precarious employment on workers' health and wellbeing is a topic of growing interest in scientific research. However, research - especially qualitative research - on the broader impact of precarious employment on the life course, family and social life is rare. Only a handful of studies investigated the impact on family and social life. In doing so, these studies usually adopt the perspective of the 'precarious worker', while a multiactor perspective - involving other household members - would make more sense. Such an approach is largely absent, especially in Western Europe. Therefore, this study adopts a multi-actor perspective while investigating how households understand the interrelationship between two life spheres: (1) the employment constellation at the household level characterised by different forms and extents of precarious employment and (2) the life course (e.g. life planning, family transitions), family and social life of household members. The focus is on households with at least one precarious worker between 25 and 45 years old in Flanders (Belgium). A variety of qualitative methods are used, including in-depth household interviews and solicited diary research with different household members. Preliminary results of this study will be presented.

Precariousness in the Memoirs of the Unemployed. Boundaries, Strategies and Trajectories.

Pawel Kubicki1, Lukasz Grzegorz Posluszny1,2

1Warsaw School of Economics, Poland; 2Wroclaw Univeristy, Poland

The analysis is based on the biographical materials collected in three editions of competitions for memoirs of the unemployed in Poland during 1930s, at the turn of the 21st century and 2018. It includes all published diaries from the first edition of the competition (57 out of 774 applications), 50 from the total of 142 diaries published in the second competition (out of 1,635 applications) and 50 from among 380 works submitted for the last competition. In the given materials we have identified and analyzed the practices and activities undertaken by the memoir authors in the precarious situation of an unemployment, both in the context of looking for a job and doing small jobs, as well as coping with it in everyday life. We wanted to find out how effective these strategies were and what were the results of the chosen paths.

On the one hand, we have traced how the process of remaining in the state of unemployment and ‘controlled’ precariousness is changing over time, and, on the other hand, how one overcomes it, both in the successful (securing employment and reducing precariousness) and unsuccessful (losing unemployed status, intensifying precariousness) ways. We employed the theoretical notion of trajectory to describe and conceptualize the discussed problem. As a result we created general three-stage typology of failure, duration and success, and their detailed and more problematic variants. Preliminary results of the study allow to note the specific relationship between unemployment and precariousness, and their mutual reinforcement over time.