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P035


Feminist perspectives on mobile essential workers: the pandemic as turning point? [Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE) & Anthropology and Mobility (AnthroMob)] 
Convenors:
Ursula Probst (Freie Universität Berlin)
Alesandra Tatić (EHESS)
Silvia Wojczewski (Medical University of Vienna)
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Chair:
Viktoria Adler (Media Diversity Institute)
Formats :
Panel
Mode :
Face-to-face
Transfers :
Open to transfers

Short Abstract:

Has essential work gone “back to normal” or does the pandemic have lasting effects on the workers’ lives? In this panel we aim to analyze the diversity of “essential work” along with the im-/mobilities that the pandemic created through the lens of feminist approaches to care and reproductive labor.

Long Abstract:

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on professions often overlooked in public perceptions: For a short moment, live-in care workers, seasonal agricultural workers and truck drivers (among others) received applause and attention. Additionally, they were granted various exceptions to Covid-19 restrictions as “essential workers”, particularly since their work often requires (transnational) mobility.

The pandemic also revealed and partially exacerbated the precarious and un(der)regulated working conditions of these workers. Today, not only the attention for the Covid-19 pandemic has faded. Public awareness for the working conditions of (mobile) essential workers also seemingly disappeared. This raises the question: Has essential work gone “back to normal” or does the pandemic have lasting effects on the workers’ lives? In this panel we want to engage with this question through the lens of feminist approaches to care and reproductive labor. We aim to analyze the diversity of “essential work” along with the im-/mobilities of essential workers that the pandemic created through this framework. Together we want to explore if and how the pandemic contributed to the un/doing of precarities, and its impact on political organization of “essential” workers.

We invite ethnographically informed papers which engage with any of these themes:

- essential work and/as care work during the pandemic

- pandemic disruptions of essential workers’ mobilities

- politicization of essential workers since Covid-19

- platform employment and labor organization

- potentials and barriers of political organization of/for mobile essential workers

- feminist activist perspectives on essential work during Covid-19

Accepted papers: