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Revisiting precarity, with care: Productive and reproductive labour in the era of flexible capitalism


The concept of precarity – a term describing the flexible and uncertain working and living conditions in the contemporary world – is often presented in opposition to the idea of stability. On the one pole stands the idea of a permanent job or career: a secure and stable life-long chain of economic pursuits and social relations that promise steady upward mobility across generations (Sennett, 1998: 9). On the other pole remains the hyper-flexible contractual labour and displaced life advanced by new forms of managerial capitalism. 

Subverting capital’s temporality: A critical reappraisal of laziness


Pulcinella, or Punch, the famous Neapolitan puppet-buffoon of commedia dell’arte, has hanging on his bedroom wall a notice stating ‘Do it tomorrow’. It is the first thing he sees when he rises from bed each morning. When faced with a new days’ demands of successive ‘things to do’, simply reading this notice is enough to short-circuit any attempt at doing what Pulcinella has to do, is supposed to do, or has been asked to do, in an eternal postponement of his daily tasks.

Coding gender in academic capitalism


We love the Internet, digital media and all the options that techno-social life makes available to us. Our collaboration as academic workers, for instance, has been made possible for decades by email and collective writing platforms. Digital connections are, after all, an important affordance for intellectual work for all who have a job far away from the village centres of international academia.

Revealing the dominant anthropological consideration of humankind in the teaching of Human Resource Management: A critique of individual performance evaluation


Questioning the normative foundations of management is an essential reflective undertaking but one that is limited in management science. Yet as early as 1958, Hannah Arendt suggested a dissociation between the instrumental end of one’s labour (embodied by her animal laborens) and its creative and durable end (homo faber). By asserting that work has multiple ends, she paved the way for a critical anthropology of work that was later to be taken up by other philosophers, sociologists, ergonomists, economists and managers.

Migration, consumption and work: A postcolonial perspective on post-socialist migration to the UK


Under the current globalized neoliberal economy, consumption has become central to transnational employment relations and migration processes (Ong, 1999; Samaluk, 2016a). Consumption – transformed through commodity flows, promoted through culturally chosen ideas of consumer agency, and mediated through global and deterritorialized mass-media and information technologies – has also become part of the capitalist civilizing process (Appadurai, 1996).

‘Work hard, play hard’: Fantasies of nihilism and hedonism between work and consumption


Vice is known for its raw, unsparingly honest editorial voice… Vice’s editors are either totally tuned-in geniuses or prankster revisionists. Or maybe both. (The Wall Street Journal)

The first-movers of culture have embraced a continuum that includes the hip, subversive aesthetic of Vice Magazine. (New York Times Magazine)

Mobilities in contemporary worlds of work and organizing

In the globalised ‘network economy’ mobility has developed as an imperative as well as an attractive possibility. Drawing inspiration from the field of mobility studies, this special issue of ephemera discusses mobility as a complex modern phenomenon. It creates a space for investigating different forms and dimensions of mobility, such as physical, temporal, social, economic and symbolic. The issue seeks to problematise simplistic assessments of mobility, and moves the discussion beyond the either/or opposition of choice and necessity.

Mobilities in contemporary worlds of work and organizing


Within the globalised ‘network society’ (Castells, 2001), demands for mobility and movement have become predominant aspects of contemporary social life (Bauman, 2007; Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005; Cresswell, 2006; Urry, 2007). Exerting an influence upon different social spheres, these demands have transformed the traditional relations of the realms of government and economy, the public and private, and work and life (Cohen et al., 2015; Donzelot and Gordon, 2008).

Alternative organizations in a global context: Tensions, challenges and potentialities

While cooperation exists since times immemorial, in its modern form it constitutes a 'product' of specific socio-economic and political conditions. Within this context, cooperatives and other alternative experiments have offered an opportunity to challenge existing capital-labour relations and inter-work relationships and rethink the way we relate everyday practices to political organization in general. This in turn implies an effort to reconceptualise the links between the economic and social field of action.

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