Gender Studies Committee of the Swiss Sociological Association and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Web)
Venue: Lucerne – Zentralstrasse 9, Luzern
Proposals by: 08.01.2023
- Keynotes: Lena Hipp (Berlin Social Science Center) and Karin Schwiter (Univ. of Zurich)
New work – new problems? Since the 20th century, paid employment has played a central role in guaranteeing social integration and livelihoods. In the tradition of Frithjof Bergmann, “new work” indicates a shift where paid work should serve the workers (and not the opposite) and provide them with meaning and satisfaction. Digitalization, globalization and the resulting flexibilization shape the way we work. Autonomy at work, self-organization and flexible working patterns are on the upswing as “new work”. We observe, however, an ambiguous impact on the workers. Precarity, exhaustion and exploitation, thus the opposite of the ideal “new work”, is what many employees currently experience. Furthermore, new work is ambivalently intertwined with the question of gender equity: Changing working conditions and environments nourish hope for greater gender justice in the context of more egalitarian work cultures. Naturalizing arguments that women – as better team players – will profit from these changes fall short, since research has shown that the flexibilization of working conditions has reinforced and normalized the high commitment employees should show towards their employer, including working late and full-time. This reproduces the prototype of the ideal male worker.
In the aftermath of the pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted various contradictions: whereas opportunities for gender equality have emerged, like the implementation of innovative family-friendly measures in some economic sectors or companies, not all employees take advantage from this situation, leaving to paradoxical effects and unintended consequences of workplace innovations. Gender, in interaction with function, position, education or migration status plays a significant role. Further, the care gap between men and women has widened during the pandemic. Especially single parents and people caring for children and adults in need were affected most negatively by lockdown and quarantines. It became clear, once again, that care work is essential, and that economic growth is inevitably based on unpaid and poorly paid care work largely performed by women. Whether this … read more and source (Web).