State plans of industrial recovery and everyday work flexibility
Juraj Buzalka (FSES Comenius University)
Paper short abstract:
The paper aims to explore the relations between governmental policies and employment practices in two different locations in Slovakia. It shows variety in ideas of ‘flexibility’, different in state discourses combating unemployment and in everyday patterns of coping with livelihood.
Paper long abstract:
This paper aims to explore the relations between governmental policies and employment practices in two different locations in post-socialist Slovakia. It attempts to show how practices and ideas of 'flexibility' vary, depending on state discourses combating unemployment and everyday patterns of coping with livelihood. Presenting data from fieldwork carried out among workers in Košice and Žilina regions in Slovakia, the paper argues that a specific type of worker emerged during socialism and post-socialism. This was thanks to reproduction of everyday practices often connected with domestic economy, complex system of social networks and exchange of services under shortage and transforming economy. We argue that employees have become more 'flexible' not solely with regard to the proliferation of neoliberal policies but their livelihood strategies have deeper roots in socialist and also post-socialist 'flexibility'. This flexibility neither contradicts official state-driven calls for industry needs of the suitable work force nor shows deeper origins in neoliberal hegemony.
Forms of government and everyday economic practices: ethnography and comparison