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Call for papers “Work and Digital Nomadism. Practices, Meanings and Regulations” – NEW DEADLINE for submissions 12 June, 2022

Editors: Ana Paula Marques, Elísio Estanque, Esser Jorge Silva, Ricardo Colturato Festi

NEW DEADLINE for submission: 12 June, 2022

The repercussions of the covid-19 pandemic have imposed significant changes on social life in general. In the particular case of work, these ongoing transformations have acquired greater significance, since professional activity constitutes the domain around which all societies are organised. In addition to being the substance of one’s professional performance and fulfilment, the notion of work has gained relevance as a factor that organises and harmonises the senses. As a result, it not only formulates and conditions objectives and life projects, but also supports expectations and “inhabits” us, contributing to the cohesion or segmentation of society. The centrality of work is also manifested in the reconciliation of the individual with the collective and in the structuring of the senses regarding the division of time and space, in a relationship of alienation or “resonance” with the world (Rosa, 2021).

If in a first phase, the growth of telework was characterised as a short-term recourse, the practices used during the pandemic came to consolidate the role of remote work and digitalisation. The discussion about work being “remote” or “at a distance”, more than a linguistic issue, reveals an opposition between the mental fabric cemented in habits and the tacit recognition of a rupture in how the exercise of one’s working activity is conceived. A new relationship between technology and work is exposed, namely a reorganisation of work and of workers through digital technologies resulting in the absence of boundaries between one’s work space and home space. New systems of remote control, individualisation and community disaggregation emerge, which have characterised work practices throughout modernity.

The resurgence of technology as a primary solution and the replacement of the law of diminishing returns - dominated by the limits of the human factor, with the law of increasing returns - subject to the infinite technological factor, foresee accelerated changes in labour practices, in the (dis)articulation between the technological agent producer and the economic agent consumer with impacts on the associative and integrative dimensions of work (Dörre et al., 2015; Silva, 2017; Costa et al., 2020; Festi, 2020; Marques, 2020).

The technological revolution, and its implications for labour relations, has created a sense of foreboding of a new paradox, which is that of a society of workers freed from the shackles of labour, while at the same time generating new forms of domination and exploitation, thus (re)introducing the discussion on the role of technology in the human experience of work (Arendt, 1958; Rifkin, 1995; Beck, 2000; Martins, 2011; Gumbrell-McCormick e Hyman, 2013; Huws, 2017; Antunes, 2018; Huws, 2019). Dimensions such as technological autonomy, the overexploitation of the virtual workforce, the transformation of the condition of service workers to service providers, and the expansion of outsourcing labour regimes (Drahokoupil, 2015) promise to renew the understanding of the classical economic relationship between the agent producer and the agent consumer of labour, raising new questions, such as: what new alternatives of meanings and purposes can be grounded in societies with less stable and secure work? What new risks are being introduced by the digitalisation and “platformisation” of work? How can the future sustainability of social protection systems be ensured? Which collective actors and multi-level regulation strategies can be designed? What new territories will be urbanised and which cities will be reconfigured, once the digitalisation of work has been enhanced? What new boundaries will exist and what ambivalences will emerge between paid and unpaid work? What impact will these transformations have on workers' wages or income? What new responses will arise from the trade union movement and other forms of resistance from workers?

This thematic dossier aims to promote a reflection on the variations of work as a scientific field of study, which can clarify and contribute to the knowledge of the new crossings and dimensions of the concept of work and its relationship with digital nomadism. Original proposals will be welcomed and valued, particularly in the form of empirical research and practical experiences that contribute to the understanding of the notion of work in times of pandemic.

Paper proposals should focus on the following topics:

  • Covid-19 post-pandemic return to work;

  • (Tele) work, labour rights and family organisation;

  • Digital nomads and the “dislocation” of work;

  • New jobs emerging in platform capitalism;

  • Role of technology, impact of Artificial Intelligence;

  • Digital platforms and hybridism: “uberisation” and precariousness;

  • Technological and human relationships in the value of work;

  • Sustainability of Social Security systems;

  • (Re)significations and metamorphosis of work;

  • Remote management and control: autonomy vs. dependence;

  • Trade unionism, cyberactivism and workers’ resistance in the 21st century

The articles must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines available online at https://journals.openedition.org/rccs/4612 and sent electronically to rccs@ces.uc.pt with “Thematic dossier – Work and digital nomadism” specifically mentioned in the email’s subject heading. All articles must be original work and submitted in their complete version, in either Portuguese, English, or Spanish. Their length may be up to 50,000 characters with spaces, including an abstract, the text itself, footnotes, and bibliographical references.

The submitted articles will be examined in a process of scientific peer review as described in the guidelines for publication.

Bibliografia

Antunes, Ricardo (2018), O privilégio da servidão - O novo proletariado de serviço na era digital. São Paulo: Boitempo.

Arendt, Hannah (1958), The Human Condition. Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Beck, Ulrich (2000), Brave New World of Work. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Costa, Hermes Augusto; Estanque, Elísio; Fonseca, Dora; Silva, Manuel Carvalho da (2020), Poderes Sindicais em Debates. Desafios e oportunidades na Autoeuropa, TAP e PT/Altice. Coimbra: CES/Almedina.

Dörre, Klaus; Stephan Lessenich; Rosa, Hartmut (2015), Sociology, Capitalism, Critique. London: Verso.

Drahokoupil, Jan (ed.) (2015), The Outsourcing Challenge: Organizing Workers across Fragmented Production Networks. Brussels: ETUI.

Festi, Ricardo Colturato (2020), "O trabalho na era digital e os desfios da emancipação", Revista de Políticas Públicas, 24.

Gumbrell-McCormick, Rebecca ; Hyman, Richard (2013), Trade Unions in Western Europoe: Hard Times, Hard Choices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Marques, Ana Paula (2020), "Crise e trabalho: interrogações em tempos de pandemia", in Madalena Oliveira; Helena Machado; João Sarmento; Maria do Carmo Ribeiro (eds.), Sociedade e Crise(s). Braga: UMinho Editora, 31-37.

Huws, Ursula; Spencer, Neil; Syrdal, Dag; and Holts, Kaire (2017), Work in the European Gig Economy: Research Results from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. Foundation for European Progressive Studies.

Huws, Ursula (2019), Labour in Contemporary Capitalism. What Next? London: Palgrave/MacMillan.

Martins, Hermínio (2011), Experimentum humanum - Civilização tecnológica e condição humana. Lisboa: Relógio D’Água.

Rifkin, Jeremy (1995), The End of Work. Washington: Tarcher/Penguin.

Rosa, Hartmut (2021), Resonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World. Oxford: Polity Press.

Silva, Esser (2017), "Excurso sobre media, tecnologia e trabalho", Intercom: Revista Brasileira de Ciências da Comunicação, 40(1), 59-75. DOI: 10.1590/1809-5844201714.

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