Flexible capitalism: new forms of mutuality and diversity at work?

Jens Kjaerulff
Jakob Krause-Jensen (Aarhus University)
Daniel Miller, Susan Wright
Start time:
27 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Novel visions, conditions and practices of employment relations, e.g. in terms of "flexible" capitalism, provides impetus for inquiry about mutuality and diversity at work. Papers comprise anthropologically grounded approaches to experiences of and changes in work under contemporary circumstances.

Long abstract:

'Work' as distinctive from other domains of exchange and reciprocity is a recent phenomenon of "Western" origin. As such work (employment) remains an important part of social life, where relationships of mutuality and diversity are continuously at issue. The emergence of novel visions, conditions and practices of work, e.g. in terms of 'new' or 'flexible' capitalism over the past decades, provides impetus for new inquiries and theoretical engagements. Under New Capitalism, stable forms of work organization are superseded by more volatile environments, at once pregnant with opportunity and fraught with insecurity: less clearly bounded 'networks' are promoted, as are engagements framed as short-term projects and teamwork. New dimensions to work practice are sought measured or rendered auditable, while more personalized and mutual relations between management and employees are also pursued. The workshop aims at exploring the potentials of ethnographic research and anthropological imagination in examining experiences of, and changes in, work under such contemporary circumstances.