Conference Agenda

RN17_01c: The Variety of Work and Labour
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Daria Luchinskaya, University of Warwick
Location: UP.2.217
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road


The Atomic Field of Labour - Research Report on the Construction Workers of the Nuclear Power Plant in the Light of Bourdieu Theory

Iwo Tomasz Łoś

University of Warsaw, Poland

I will present the results of the sociological field research that I conducted throughout 2009-2019 among the Polish workers hired at the construction site of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland. The research consists of my direct in-depth structured interviews with the workers (crane operators, electricians, carpenters, electricians, foremen) and is based on the Pierre Bourdieu’s qualitative research methodology of analyzing the social fields and on his theoretical concept of the “twofold truth of labour” (from the Pascalian Meditatons). According to Bourdieu, the experience of labour is stretched between the two extremes: the scholastic, symbolically rewarding work and the conveyor belt type of work done primarily for the economic reasons. What is often at stake is the margin of freedom that ultimately strengthens engagement/commitment, which can lead to higher efficiency but also exploitation and it creates a risk of faults or sabotage. The Olkiluoto case study shows that also the temporary construction workers are subject to such dynamics and pressures. While working in the surprisingly precarious conditions (despite the welfare state of Finland and the official, state driven investment) they on the one hand confess about the difficulties (insurance not paid by the employer, too much pressure, serious industrial conflicts etc.) but on the other express commitment and engagement to solve the technical difficulties by any means – some of which means hiding the faults in the very construction (wrong welding, wrong cables put etc) from the eyes of the controllers. They are exploited yet remain creative and committed thus dragged into the twofold pressures. I broaden the theoretical scope by referring to texts of labor focused sociologists Arlie R.Hochschild and Beverly J.Silver.

Organization and Labor Regulation in Small Scale Firms in Italy

Vincenzo Fortunato1, Andrea Bellini2

1Università della Calabria, Italy; 2Università di Firenze, Italy

The socioeconomic literature at international level (Barrett and Rainnie, 2002; Ram and Edwards, 2003; Edwards et. al 2006; Hanna and Walsh, 2008; Mallet and Wapshott, 2017) highlights the centrality of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the ongoing restructuring processes in European countries, underlining profound geographical differences both in quantitative and qualitative terms. This is particularly true in the case of Italy where small or micro enterprises represents the great majority in the Italian production system. Despite the centrality of small firms, few empirical investigations at local level tried to clarify the various models of production and work organisation as well as the types of labour regulation adopted in different territorial contexts.

The proposed paper, based on a national research project, focuses attention on micro and small scale firms in four Italian regions (Lombardy, Tuscany, Abruzzo and Calabria) representative of three macro-areas of the country. Starting from the main features of the firms in those areas, the aim of the paper is therefore to deeper understand the relations between small and micro enterprises and the external context, by considering its main elements such as the productive system, the organization of the companies, the role of local institutions including collective organizations and industrial relations actors.

As far as methodology is concerned, the paper is based on data from a quantitative survey of a large representative sample of 2.320 firms in the private sector (Made in Italy, High and Low skill sectors), selected from the wider database of the Italian companies (AIDA). In addition, more than 60 qualitative in depth interviews have been carried out to employers, union and business associations’ leaders, representatives of bilateral organizations.

Education & Job Activities in the Process of Achieving Adulthood. The Case of 30-year-old Poles

Agnieszka Ewa Dziedziczak-Foltyn, Jolanta Grotowska-Leder

University of Lodz, Poland

Transition from youth into adulthood is characterized today with increasing complexity, fragmentation and differentiation (Walther et al. 2001). The adolescence stage means living with one's parents and concentration on formal education, while the stage of late adolescence (Galland 1990; Cavalli i Galland 1995) is the time of work experiments, including taking short-term, odd or part-time jobs, re-organisation of living conditions and partner relations. In line with the concept of emerging adulthood as a stage in life (Arnett 2000), it is the time when professional ambitions of young people start to take shape and their awareness of the importance of a professional career and competences grows, but so does the uncertainty of employment, risk of unemployment and inflation of vocational qualifications. Completed adulthood (Bendit 2006) is achieving in the second part of the third decade of life but also frequently around the 30th year of one's life. It is the time when young people make decisions on finding a relatively stable job, on living together and formalizing their partnerships through marriage, and on maternity.

The paper presents research results of the project „Public policies for completed adulthood in Poland” (2015-2019), financed by the National Science Centre of Poland. We answer four main questions: What were the relations between education and job activities? What was the professional career of young adult Poles? When, what and why did they undertake job activities? Who supported them in these decisions and how? The empirical analyses are based on 6 focus groups (FGI) and 40 individual in-depth interviews (IDI) with 30-year-old inhabitants of Łódź (the third largest city in Poland) and Zduńska Wola (a small town in the province of Łódź).

Does the Labor Market Policy Need Financial Innovations? Social Impact Bonds as a Potential Force for a Positive Change in Employment Activation

Richard Necel

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

The scientific debate on financial innovations in labour market policy is moving from normative approach towards realistic applying optimal strategies for their implementation. In this speech, I present the SIB as a new mechanism for financing social services. I focus on active labor market policy as the sphere of application of this mechanism. The speech is divided into three parts. The first part I explain the normative assumptions of SIB two main issues arise. First, that Social impact bond is a mechanism, which aim to achieve social outcomes on a pay-for-success basis. Second, public entities should not be the only one to bear responsibility for the outcomes of the social tasks, but non-governmental organizations and private entities cooperate and participate in performing public administration tasks.

In the second part I present the possibility of applying the social impact bonds mechanism to finance social economy tasks. The proposed mechanism is to enable more effective employment activation of people benefiting from social employment – from employment and economic point of view. In order to show the potential benefits, in particular the mechanism of social impact bonds was described and its specification for the needs of the social economy in Poland was made. The presented solution indicates the appropriateness of solution in the task, organizational and financial dimensions.

In the three part I synthesises the main arguments and aims to open a critical analysis of the model, where weaknesses and remedial strategies are shown.