THE AGE OF PRECARITY WORKSHOP AND A NEW THEMATIC GROUP

Claire Parfitt, Sydney University and Fabian Cannizzo, Monash University:

In November 2018, the Work Employment and Social Movements (WESM) and Sociology of Economic Life (SOEL) thematic groups hosted a joint workshop on the topic of economic responses to precarity, in Melbourne, on the day following the annual TASA meeting.

We were fortunate to receive many expressions of interest, and accepted eight papers covering a vast range of topics including post-retrenchment economic security; climate change and workplace heat stress; policy proposals for a universal basic income; sharing practices among migrant women; and re-imaginings of employment security. Participants in the workshop included honours and doctoral students, as well as early career and experienced researchers. The papers have all been submitted to comprise a special issue of Critical Sociology which we anticipate being published in the next few months, and look forward to sharing with you.

This workshop is one of several joint initiatives between the WESM and SOEL groups over the last couple of years, which have led to our decision to merge the groups.

In March 2019, the TASA executive accepted our proposal to merge and form a new thematic group: Sociology of Work, Labour and Economy.

Observing that we share many complementary scholarly interests and having supported each other in various ways, we opened a consultation process with the members of both TGs in 2018. This involved both email communications and an invitation to discussion at the TASA annual meeting, after which we incorporated feedback into our proposal to the executive.

We are confident that this new structure will enable us to make more focused interventions and to support the growth of scholarship in our target areas more effectively, and we are keen to get moving with an active group.

The convenors of the new group are Fabian Cannizzo and Claire Parfitt. We are immensely grateful to former convenors Larissa Bamberry, Tom Barnes, and Elizabeth Humphrys for their valuable contributions.

We would love to hear from you about your ideas as to what the new thematic group might work on this year and beyond. Please get in touch if have suggestions and/ or if you would like to get involved.

In addition to the special issue of Critical Sociology, we are developing a plenary session at the TASA 2019 Conference later this year, at which we intend to convene a discussion about/reflection on the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign. If that is something that interests you, we would love to hear your thoughts, as we are still in the early stages of preparation.

Look up the new group’s webpage : https://tasa.org.au/sociology-of-work-labour-and-economy/

You can contact the new convenors at claireparfitt@gmail.com or mrfabiancannizzo@gmail.com and follow us on twitter : @tasa_work

Looking forward to stimulating debates about economic sociology, labour, trade unions, and work!

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