The "Work/Family Challenge" in Intensive Work Contexts - Session 3/3
From a scientific point of view, the link between work and family has been an enduring focus for social research. This interest is due to the historical separation of the sphere of work and the sphere of family. Since the mid-nineties the ‘work-family challenge’ has become particularly prominent. This rise of interest is connected to contemporary socio-economic transformations: flexible working hours, feminisation of the labour market, intensification of work practices, mobility of the labour force, changing family composition and structure, the ageing population… The relationship between the worlds of employment and family/personal life is becoming a major issue for many people who have to ‘juggle’ with competing professional and other needs.
Since the beginning of twenty first Century several authors have studied the contradictions between globalisation and work intensification, and the need for time to care for children and others, in gender equitable ways. Intensification of work is commonly experienced by working families in a particular demanding, competitive and pressured context. For many workers there are no work/life balance, but conflicts and tensions in intensive work contexts where labour is physically, psychologically and socially destructive. The professional and domestic spheres are closely articulated. The current emphasis on the relationship between work and family (and personal life) is understandable in this respect.
This call for papers intends to address this issue from various points of view, including the role of economic and industrial policies, professions and occupations, working conditions and new patterns of productive work, the gender and intersectional perspectives, etc.