Politics and ideologies of work | Polityki i ideologie pracy

Call for Papers 2015

Important: the deadline for submissions has been extended to 15th June, 2015.

Social boundaries of work. The varieties of informal work in contemporary societies

We would like to invite you to participate in an international conference “Social boundaries of work. The varieties of informal work in contemporary societies”, which will take place in the Institute of Sociology of the University of Zielona Góra on 12-13 November 2015.

The conference is a continuation of a cycle of international conferences Social boundaries of work organized by The Sociology of Work Section of Polish Sociological Association. The first concerned the transformation of employment in the twenty-first century capitalism. It took place in Wroclaw in November 2014 (https://sites.google.com/site/boundariesofwork2014/).

The aim of the conference series is to systematically explore the meanings of work in the process of economic and cultural changes associated with globalization, Europeanization and the expansion of neoliberal variant of the capitalist economy. Discussion during the second edition of the conference will focus on the problems of work outside of formal employment in modern societies. We would like to take into account undeclared work, work performed free of charge (reproductive work, voluntary work), as well as working in atypical forms of employment, such as civil contracts in Poland or other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Conference presentations should address both theoretical and practical topics focused on informal work.

The objectives of the conference are:

  • to redefine the category (and measurement) of informal work, which is not limited to the legal classification of work activities (into the illegal and legal employment), but which will also take into account the variety of the intermediate forms of work beyond a standard employment contracts (volunteering , internship , business, precarization traditionally understood as a formal labour market – work under private law contracts , short-term contracts );
  • to analyze the situation, conditions, the quality of work and social costs of people who work beyond the standard employment relationship (eg. economic and symbolic violence in today’s job market as a result of informal forms of work);
  • to analyze the sources of informal forms of work – employers’ strategies, individuals’ strategies: the inability to integrate the individual into the regular labor market successfully;
  • to reflect and discuss the traditional (e.g. reproductive work) and new (unpaid internships) dimensions of informal work under the conditions defined by the processes of expansion of new forms of employment that go beyond the traditional employment relationship;
  • to identify the challenges for social policies and practices related to increasing employment destandarization in contemporary societies.

We invite Authors to submit paper proposals to two thematic panels.

During the panel Work and employment in modern societies: theoretical challenges the following problems will be discussed:

  • The definition and measurement of informal forms of work,
  • Social and individual consequences of informal forms of work,
  • Conditions and quality of informal work,
  • Segmentation of the labour market and the supply of workers to informal labour market (low-skilled workers, women, the elderly),
  • Areas and forms of informal work: unpaid care work, work in the informal sector, voluntary and unpaid work in the new and old sectors of the economy, internships and work within the (non) standard forms of employment .

During panel on social practice, Precarization and flexibility of employment: the challenges of social practice the following issues would be taken into account:

  • Trade unions attitudes and strategies to addressinformal work;
  • Employers’ organizationsand the work ofoutside employmenttoinformal work;
  • Social policy and theproblems ofinformal work.


Languages of the conference: Polish and English

  • 1st day – in English
  • 2nd day – in English, selected sessions in Polish

The simultaneous translation of the plenary sessions (Polish-English, English-Polish) will be provided.

Please send your abstracts and/or register using the registration form provided to the conference address: socialboundariesofwork@gmail.com by 15 June 2015 at latest. All abstracts will be pre-selected by the Organising Committee and reviewed by the members of the Scientific Board.

First plenary session of the 4th SBW 2018

Second plenary session of the 4th SBW 2018