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WOLG Call for Contributions

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS - The Precariousness of Knowledge Workers
Volume 10 No 2 of Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisationwill be a special themed issue on The Precariousness of Knowledge Workers: hybridisation, marketisation and subjectification in global value chains

The notion of 'knowledge worker' has become the focus of a rich range of debates in a variety of scientific approaches and disciplines, from sociology to economics, from political science to neomarxism, all offering their own particular conceptual tools and perspectives.Unlike the traditional professions that were consolidated in the last century, 21st knowledge work is undergoing a process of  hybridisation. With a growing variety of different types of work contract, knowledge workers constitute a type of professional work that is
increasingly exposed to the logic of the market and are increasingly required to auto-activate their own resources, empathy and individual autonomy (Gorz, 2003; Morini, Fumagalli, 2010). The ambivalences embedded in these forms of production – in which new forms of exploitation and control and new sense constructions coexist at the same time (Rullani, 2004; Bologna, 2011) – show
the double face of  contemporary capitalism, which urges subjects to put their own lives into production but also leaves room for passion and creative capacities (Boltansky, Chiappello, 1999; Marazzi, 2010; Karppi et al., 2014). Following this perspective, global capitalism can continue to accumulate but can also overflow, spreading pervasivelyr through different (technological) devices, while simultaneously opening up a multitude of times and spaces (Thrift, 2005) in which subjects struggle to find their position.

In knowledge based industries, work is circumscribed by the cognitive frames of creativity the imagery of subjects, but simultaenously demands adaptability, in a context in which deregulation and individualisation are now normal. The ethics of self-activation are therefore inextricably intertwined with the demands of intensification, neostandardisation and self-commodification. In this framework, the organisation of knowledge work is increasingly subordinated to the disciplines imposed by global production chains (Berger, 2008; Huws,
2014) leading not only to the intension of work and the transformation of the capabilities required of workers, but also to the creation of new forms of affective labour (Hochschild, 1983; Hardt, 1999; Hesmondhalgh, Baker, 2008) which blur the boundaries of work (Gill, Pratt, 2008; McRobbie, 2011).
The aim of this Special Issue is to develop a critical discussion on knowledge workers' conditions and subjectivities in the new global division of labour. We welcome paper submissions from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives on the following themes:

  • representations and experiences of knowledge workers in the global tertiarised societies;
  • mechanisms of subjectivation and strategies to seek to avoid and to resist them;
  • risks of precariousness and proletarisation that might derive from a professionalisation driven by global and glocal markets;
  • knowledge workers' collective practices, with particular attention to new forms of collaboration, sociality and social features of welfare and their limitations and potentialities.

Submission guidelines can be found here.

This issue will be edited by:
Annalisa Murgia, University of Trento, Italy contact
Lara Maestripieri, Fondazione Feltrinelli, Italy contact
Emiliana Armano, University of Milan, Italy contact

The editors are happy to discuss abstracts prior to submission.
Please submit to the editor contact
by July 28th, 2015


Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation is an independent, international inter-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal, founded in 2006.
Since January 2015, it has been published by Pluto Journals
with online distribution byJSTOR.

More information about the aims of the journal, its editorial board and the contents of past issues is available atwww.analyticapublications.co.uk

Journal content can now be accessed online here

Every alternate issue of Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation is unthemed. Articles may be submitted at any time.

Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Cuba’s man of letters

An exclusive interview with one of Cuba's most successful writers.  Read the full interview in International Journal of Cuban Studies 5.1

Release date March 2013

Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Cuba’s man of letters

Exclusive interview, by Susan Metz

Leonardo Padura Fuentes (born in Havana in 1955) is the best known and most widely read contemporary Cuban author. He has published eight novels, two volumes of short stories and seven works of non-fiction. He has also written scripts for documentaries and recently for a series of short films about Havana directed by different cinematographers. His work has been translated into at least eight languages and he has won a number of important prizes including the Dashiell Hammett prize for the best detective novel from the international division of Writers of Crime Fiction (1996) and the Italian Premio Letterario Francesco Gelmi di Caporiacco (2010). His achievement was officially recognised in Cuba in December 2012 when the Cuban Ministry of Culture awarded him the National Prize for Literature, the country’s highest literary honour.

To read the full interview  Subscribe Now

Chomsky takes Obama to task

Lawyers in Europe, keen to give the US president the benefit of the doubt, are reluctant to condemn his targeted killings

American philosopher Noam Chomsky is among those upset by the Ecole Normale Supérieure for banning a debate on the criminalisation of supporters of the boycott of Israel.

Read the full article on the Guardian.

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