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Work-place: doing ethnography at the cultural intersection of place and work 
Angela Storey (University of Louisville)
Lauren Hayes (University of Wyoming)
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Friday 26 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Taking a broad definition of work to include paid and unpaid labor, this panel explores how place and work intersect. We consider how shifts in locational frameworks, changing labor landscapes, tech advances, and evolving definitions shape work and connections to place forged through or against it.

Long Abstract:

How does place relate to contemporary meanings of work? Scholars have long explored how place is intimately connected to the work culture and identity of particular, often dominant industries or subsistence-related labor (Sider 1988, Kideckel 2008). Yet globalization, migration, and technology have deconstructed and deterritorialized the workplace. Labor organizing is harder across transnational space, workers are frequently disconnected from the economies and rituals of their home communities, and the virtual and isolating nature of technology has changed work culture (Collins 2002, Escobar 2001, Hakken 1993, Ong 1987). Our interpretations of work itself are also changing, with increasing recognition of the extent of unpaid labor, the expansion of contingent positions, and the economic impacts of voluntarism.

This panel explores the multiple ways in which place and work intersect, taking a broad definition of work to include paid and unpaid labor, such as caretaking or voluntarism. We welcome papers that consider the intersections of place and work and, critically, that think about what it means to do ethnographic work at this juncture. Papers might discuss the experiences of shifting sites and locational frameworks for labor, such as changes to rural workscapes, work related to voluntary or subsistence care of a landscape or place, or moves to (or back from) distanced workplaces during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. As the context of labor continues to shift, and precarity dominates experiences within and beyond paid labor, how are our work-mediated connections to place influenced?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 26 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -