Tuesday, February 20, at 5 PM, Peter Fugiel Presents: Precarious Work Schedules and the Neoliberal Governance of Risk

Please join us for our next meeting of the Money, Markets and Governance workshop, next Tuesday, February 20th, at 5 – 6:30 PM in classroom 106 at SSRB (the Social Science Research Building):

Peter Fugiel

PhD Student, Soicology, University of Chicago

Precarious Work Schedules and the Neoliberal Governance of Risk

Discussant: Rishi Arora
PhD student, Sociology, University of Chicago

Abstract: Neoliberal capitalism is commonly characterized by a reallocation of risk from capital to labor. In the United States this shift has been documented with respect to employment, pensions, and health insurance. Yet there has been relatively little scholarship analyzing risk allocation with respect to work schedules. Precarious work schedules provide an interesting context in which to examine the political economy of risk governance for both theoretical and practical reasons. On a theoretical level, precarious schedules subject workers to risks of unstable, unpredictable, and unwanted work hours on a routine basis — more often than other labor market risks such as unemployment and injury which feature prominently in theories of comparative political economy. On a more practical level, there is a movement for scheduling standards which is attracting growing support from labor unions, advocates, and policymakers, having recently achieved legislative victories in San Francisco, Seattle, and Oregon. This paper lays out a framework for analyzing how precarious schedules result from a mismatch between workers’ expectations and lean staffing practices that treat labor as a cost to be contained. I propose a larger research project that builds upon this framework to explain the origins, extent, and experience of precarious schedules in the US retail sector.

For accessibility concerns or any other questions, please contact the workshop administrator at yanivr {at} uchicago {dot} edu.


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