CfP: Social Boundaries of Work. Social Inequalities and New Meanings of Work in the Digital Age, Lublin, 2022

The Sociology of Work Section of the Polish Sociological Association in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology Maria Curie-Sklodowska University and the Research Committee 44 “Labor Movements” of the International Sociological Association  invite abstracts for the international conference „Social Boundaries of Work. Social Inequalities and New Meanings of Work in the Digital Age”. The conference will take place in Lublin, on 19-20.05.2022.

The sixth edition of the Social Boundaries of Work conference will be focused on the debate on the new meanings of work in a digital environment. The event is a part of an international, scientific discussion about the deepening social inequalities in the world of work and the need to  redefine  work  resulting  from  the  consequences  of  the  COVID-19  pandemic  in  the digitalised reality. Topics to be discussed include:

  • The (post) pandemic world and the consequences of the pandemic for the world of work;
  • The intersections  of  socio-economic  and  health  crises,  their  determinants  and consequences for labour,
  • Human and non-human forms of work – the impact of the digitization on work,
  • Digital divisions  and  inequalities,  technology  as  a  factor  in  accelerating  and channeling social crises,
  • Social and symbolic boundaries of work in relation to social inequalities and divisions in the world of work,
  • The role of collective employment relations / industrial relations in the digital age,
  • The role of the sociology of work in the post-pandemic society,
  • The importance of digital technologies in organizing and managing social life,
  • Gig economy and platform work,
  • Precariousness and precarisation in the context of digitization,
  • Gender division of labor (especially digital),
  • Intersectional reflection on the new relations of power in platform work and in the digital economy,

This time, the conference will be focused on digitalisation, which affects all spheres of the (post) pandemic social life. How are digital technologies affecting the world of work today? How does digitalisation affect the existing and new institutions of our social life? How do social actors use digital tools and platforms to create their own adaptation and resistance strategies? How do digital platforms and digital tools legitimize social, political and economic inequalities and ideologies in the sphere of work and mobility? How does digitalisation influence the emergence of social institutions?

The  obvious  context  for  answering  these  questions  in  2022  is  the  COVID-19 pandemic and the (post) pandemic socio-economic crisis. There are many indications that the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation trend in the sphere of work, leading to further expansion of remote work, the platform economy and other forms of organizational and technical innovation.

The pandemic has also exposed new areas of social inequality. We are particularly interested in digital inequalities, which are, on the one hand, a derivative of access to digital technologies, computers and the Internet, and on the other hand, may result from differences in motivation, competence or the level of use.

Therefore, the pandemic may pose a threat of further expansion of uncertainty and risk characteristic of postmodernity. However, it can be also seen as an opportunity for social, organisational and technological innovations in many areas of social life.

We are interested in papers addressing the topics of social inequalities and the new meanings of work in the digital age in an international and comparative context, combining it with dimensions of social differentiation such as origin, gender, class position, disability and others. We want to capture the multiplicity of transnational dependencies and similarities in the processes related to (post-) pandemic changes in the world of work in the context of digitalisation.

Conferences from the Social Boundaries of Work series are events of an international scope, with speakers from dozens of countries. The concept of this internationally recognised conference cycle is based on an ongoing discussion of the meaning and social boundaries of human work. In recent years, the organisers have managed to gather a diverse, constantly expanding group of scientists from Poland and  the world interested in  the dynamics of changes related to the definition of work, the meaning of work and work practices. The discussions take place in the context of the global and European changes  in the socio- economic dimension, with the particular emphasis on the expansion of the liberal version of the capitalist economy and its criticism.

Important deadlines:

30.12.2021 – deadline for abstracts – max 500 words

02.02.2022 – the list of accepted abstracts

28.02.2022 – early bird fee

31.03.2022 – regular fee

19-20.05.2022 – conference in Lublin

Conference fees:

  1. I. Active participants (with a paper):

Regular fee (academic staff with PhD degree and professors and non-academic participants): early bird 400 PLN (~ 87 EUR), late fee 460 PLN (~ 100 EUR) Reduced fee (PhD students & students): early bird 200 PLN (~ 43 EUR), late fee 230 PLN (~ 50 EUR)

  1. II. Passive participants (no papers) in the full conference: 230 PLN (~ 50 EUR)

Registration   for   the   conference   and   abstract   submission   is   possible   via   the   form: https://forms.gle/SpHKWTjSL4SvNcmu6

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