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Building the collective at times of precarity: precarious labour and its countermovements

Project description

Precarious work and social change

Under increased global competition, the labour market often takes a turn to informal and temporary work arrangements. This lack of stable work or steady income is called precarity, which shapes a large part of the labour force all over the world. The EU-funded COLLECTITUDE project aims to study the relationship that exists between precarisation and social transformation. A comparative analysis will be conducted in Portugal focusing on the construction sector (high level of unskilled and low paid workers) and the creative industry (highly qualified but with unstable work). The project will investigate the political economy of precarisation, its effects on livelihood, and how social and solidarity economies can evolve under precarious conditions of work. The results will advance knowledge on the future of work.


The COLLECTITUDE project aims to analyse current andThe COLLECTITUDE project aims to analyse current and future transformations in the world of work at times of precarity, by researching the relationship between precarisation, on the one hand, and agency and social change, on the other, developing a new analytical perspective that is able to articulate this double movement and to capture both national and transnational social processes underway. It will address this double movement by focusing on the case of Portugal and by undertaking a comparative analysis of two professional groups that occupy a specific space in current models of capitalism, assuming a set of common trends throughout various countries, while representing two distinct sectors of the workforce: the construction industry, a labour-intensive sector, whose jobs are mostly unskilled, low-wage and insecure; and the creative industry, whose work is highly qualified, though intermittent and often unprotected. The project will be developed at a civil society organisation (A3S) and proposes an interdisciplinary, participatory and multi-method approach, involving a systematic process of progressive focusing: collection and analysis of quantitative macro data; ethnography of project work, based on participant observation and in-depth interviews; document analysis; and focus groups. The project will investigate: a) the political economy of precarity, and its relation with project work; b) the relationship between the precariousness of work and the precarity of livelihoods; c) how collective agency and different initiatives of social and solidarity economy unfold under precarious forms of labour; d) paths of intervention, updating the debates on the welfare state models. The final purpose is to advance knowledge on the futures of work and the future of social Europe, developing an analytical model for framing precarious work and collective agency and a social agenda for shaping the futures of work and society.



Net EU contribution
€ 159 815,04
Other funding
€ 0,00