Theorizing Informal and Precarious Worker Organizing Under Global Capitalism
RC44 Labor Movements
Informal work is one of the most elementary forms of labour commodification and exploitation, yet its persistence in the context of technological advancements and global economic transformations raises fundamental questions about how we theorize informal work as a conceptual category. What is the relationship between informal work, precarious work, and global capitalism? How do such understandings change when theorizing informal and precarious work from the lens of worker collective action?
This panel invites papers that advance theoretical understanding of informal and precarious worker organizing as a mode of political struggle against global capitalism. In particular, we seek papers that consider the intersectional basis of power and domination under capitalism, including the significance of gender and patriarchy, ethno-racial nationalism, and exclusionary citizenship regimes in the struggles of informal and precarious workers. We also seek papers that engage concretely with questions of worker power. What is the relationship between informal worker organizing and the structure of political power? How do political parties, collective bargaining institutions, social movement spheres and geopolitical dynamics influence the development of distinct types of worker power (e.g. structural, associational, symbolic), and vice-versa.
We particularly welcome comparisons across nations or regions and analytical pieces that focus on the significance of worker agency, the determinants of social action, and/or questions of causality.
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