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Crafting the margins: Promoting dis-identification in temporary agency work

Tarrabain, Chloe



Contemporary work has seen the proliferation of temporary forms of employment where short-termism and indeterminacy of labour is valued over long-term organisational commitment. The rise of flexibility has brought about new questions which challenge some of the conventional management wisdoms around the preference for positive identification with the organisations. This paper examines how temporary workers are produced as flexible, transient subjects which only forge transactional relationships with contracting organisations. Drawing on data collected from a twelve-month ethnography of agency workers in the hospitality industry, this paper argues that contracting organisation actively encourage agency workers dis-identification through a variety of regulatory techniques which have deep seated effects of workers’ self-understandings. This paper therefore argues that, in the context of flexible employment dis-identification can be reconceptualised as an effective mechanism of control.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Tarrabain, C. Crafting the margins: Promoting dis-identification in temporary agency work
Keywords temporary work, flexible work, agency work, identification, dis-identification
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Ethnography symposium


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