Past Public Speakers and Reading Group Meetings

April 17, 2012

Worker Voice

Time:   12:30- 2pm

Location:  Hamilton 150


April 3, 2012

Good Job Growth

Time:   12:30- 2pm

Location:  Hamilton 150


March 20, 2012:              


Guest facilitator Professor Kathi Weeks

Time:   12:30- 2pm

Location:  Hamilton 150


Kathi Weeks, The Problem with Work

Guy Standing, The Precariat

February 27- 28, 2012 Asia Partners Workshop

Monday, February 27th (3009 GEC)

8:30-9:00: Opening Greeting (Michael Tsin, Acting Director, Carolina Asia Center)

9:00-12:00: Session 1 (Arne Kalleberg, Chair and Discussant)

9:00-10:30: Presentations*

Machiko Osawa and Kim Myoung Jung, Increasing Precarious Employment and its Social Consequences in Japan                                        

Kwang-Yeong Shin, Economic Crisis, Neoliberal Economic Reform and the Rise of Precarious Work in South Korea    

Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Precarious Work in Taiwan: A Profile

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:00: Discussion**

1:00-4:00: Session 2 (Kevin Hewison, Chair and Discussant)

1:00-2:30: Presentations*

Indrasari Tjandraningsih, Capital, State and Precarious Work in Indonesia: Challenges for the Labor Movement

Rene E. Ofreneo, Precarious Philippines: “Flexibilizing” Formal Labor Market, Expanding Informal Labor Market

Woradul Tularak and Kevin Hewison, Thailand and Precarious Work: An Assessment

2:30-2:45: Break

2:45-4:00: Discussion**

Tuesday, February 28th (3009 GEC)

9:00-12:00: Session 3 (Kwang-Yeong Shin, Chair and Discussant)

9:00-10:30: Presentations*

Ying Zhou, The State of Precarious Work in China

Dibyendu Maiti, Precarious Work in India: Trends and Emerging Issues

Nisha Arunatilake, Precarious Workers in Sri Lanka

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:00: Discussion**

1:00-3:00: Discussion of Next Steps –Arne Kalleberg and Kevin Hewison

*Presenters are asked to limit their presentations to about 20-25 minutes, leaving 5-10 minutes for discussion of each paper (30 minutes total).

**Discussion at the end of each session will be facilitated by the session chair and will focus on identifying similarities and differences among the three papers presented in that session. All presenters in the session should read the other two papers in the session and be prepared to discuss them in relation to his/her paper.

February 7, 2012:


Time:   12:30- 2pm

Location:  Hamilton 150


January 24, 2012:


Time:   12:30- 2pm

Location:  Hamilton 150

Readings:  Policy chapters from Arne Kalleberg. 2011. Good Jobs, Bad Jobs and Guy Standing. 2011. The Precariat

December 8, 2011:              


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151

Readings:  Arne Kalleberg.  2011.  Good Jobs, Bad Jobs

December  1, 2011:              


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151

Readings:  Mosley, Layna.  2011.  Labor Rights and Multinational Production.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

November 24, 2011


November 17, 2011:           


Time:   12:00- 1:30pm

Note:  We will be having lunch with Guy.  Please confirm your attendance so that we know that we have enough lunch boxes available. 

Location:  Hamilton 271

Reading:  Standing, Guy.  2011.  The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class

November 16, 2011:           

Guy Standing Public Presenation Video 

GUY STANDING PUBLIC PRESENATION  “The Precariat:  The New Dangerous Class”

Time:  5:30- 7pm

Location: FEDEX Global Education Center Room 1005

Neo-liberal policies and institutional changes have produced a huge and growing number of people with sufficiently common experience to be called an emerging class. In this book Guy Standing introduces what he calls the Precariat – a growing number of people across the world living and working precariously, usually in a series of short-term jobs, without recourse to stable occupational identities, stable social protection or protective regulations relevant to them. They include migrant workers, but also locals. Standing argues that this class of people could produce new instabilities in society. They are increasingly frustrated and dangerous because they have no voice, and hence they are vulnerable to the siren calls of extreme political parties. He outlines a new kind of good society, with more people actively involved in civil society and the precariat re-engaged. He goes on to consider one way to a new better society — an unconditional basic wage for everyone, contributed by the state, which could be topped up through employment. This is a topical, and a radical book, which will appeal to a broad market concerned by the increasing problems of job insecurity and civic disengagement.

Guy Standing is currently Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath in the UK. He was previously Director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organisation, where he worked for 30 years. He has been involved in numerous research and advisory projects, in developed and developing countries and, in the early 1990s, in the “transition” countries of eastern Europe. He has written and edited books on labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection policy.

Recent books include: The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London and New York, Bloomsbury Academic, 2011); Social Income and Insecurity: A Study in Gujarat, with Jeemol Unni, Renana Jhabvala and Uma Rani (New Delhi, Routledge, 2010); Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2009) and Promoting Income Security as a Right: Europe and North America (London, Anthem Press, 2005).

Dr.Standing was coordinating editor and main writer of the ILO’s Economic Security for a Better World, a global report issued in 2004. He is a founder member and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international non-governmental organisation that promotes a citizenship income for all. He is also currently involved in several unconditional cash transfer pilot schemes in India.

For information on The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, visit:

Bloomsbury Academic/Research

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at a discount.

November 10, 2011:           


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151


November 9, 2011:             

Hedi Gottfried Public Presentation Video –

HEIDI GOTTFRIED PUBLIC PRESENTATION:  “Precarious Work in Japan: Old Forms, New Risks?”

Time:  5:30- 7pm

Location:  FEDEX Global Education Center Rooms 2008/ 2010

This paper scrutinizes the growing trends and tendencies toward nonstandard employment in Japan to understand the making of new risk profiles. Since the first signs of new risk profiles emerged prior to the bursting of the economic bubble, an analysis should not, as many have done, solate the  1990s.  Yet, few noticed that the growth of nonstandard employment had preceded the reversal of economic fortunes. Often, characterization of the Japanese model extrapolated from relatively secure positions of one labor market segment in the highly regulated, coordinated governance institutions. Extant models have failed to anticipate growing risks in society as a whole. This paper proposes an alternative comparative analysis by situating Japan in an historical set of accommodations, including a reproductive bargain embedded in the Fordist production system.

The first section of the paper elaborates on a new concept of reproductive bargain based on a broad set of institutions and actors in order to illuminate gender dimensions of labor market (in)security and their relationship to social location and context. My alternative introduces the reproductive bargain as a middle-range concept that considers institutions of production and social reproduction shaping the growth and patterns of nonstandard employment and their associated risks.

Section two sets empirical trends against an historical backdrop of the past four decades in Japan.  This section contextualizes the rise of nonstandard employment in terms of the institutional character of a male-breadwinner reproductive bargain. The logic behind the corporate-centered male-breadwinner reproductive bargain emphasizing family solutions to social reproduction constrained the sites, the subjects and the scale of social protection.

Section three highlights accumulating pressures on the old reproductive bargain, as demographic challenges difficult to manage during the 1980s became even more acute during the “lost decade.”  Even before the impulse for broad labor market deregulation, state imposed regulation over temporary employment in the mid-1980s, followed by initial legislation of part-time employment early in the 1990s.  Subsequently, a combination of deregulation, non-regulation, and re-regulation codified part-time and temporary work as distinct statuses with few of the benefits or the social protections associated with the corporate-centered, male-breadwinner reproductive bargain. A review employment regulation highlights the function of legal reforms in the making of new risk profiles. State-based regulations allowed for unequal treatment of part-time and temporary work. As a result, nonstandard employment emerged as a distinct status with few of the benefits or the social protections associated with the corporate-centered, male-breadwinner reproductive bargain.

Finally, nonstandard employment has been associated with feminization. The growing numbers of men in nonstandard employment compels examination of masculinization. Temporary work destabilizes the norm of the male standard work biography that had been so strong in the Japanese context.  In addition, temporary workers represent quintessential “neo-liberal selves” who must navigate the social, cultural and cognitive uncertainties of being socially excluded and disconnected from a fixed place of work and work group and must improvise a sense of belonging in the midst of institutional uncertainty. In this way, temporary employment hollows out the “core” male workforce in Japan. As we know, the effects can lead to despair with tragic results of increasing incidence of suicide.  It is also possible that male temporary workers may fashion new gender identities not based on patriarchal dominance and carelessness.  New patterns show that temporary employment and precariousness is not singularly a “woman’s problem.”

The paper concludes with a series of questions about the long-term consequences ofnonstandard employment in Japan and in other Asian countries.

  • What will be the effect on core gender and sexual
    identities as more men at various stages of their working lives occupy these
    “feminized” positions?
  • What will happen to men’s identities when they no
    longer can earn a family wage or fulfill the breadwinner role?
  • Will nonstandard employment undermine patriarchal
    relations, as the conditions of uncertainty and insecurity extend to more men
    at different life-course stages?
  • Will changing work biographies reshape norms and
    identities of fatherhood and motherhood?
  • How does the changing reproductive bargain impact on
    public and private lives of women and men in the household, in the workplace,
    and in their communities of residence?
  • Is the making of risk gendered in the same way across
  • What do we attribute the variation of the timing,
    extent and consequences of different forms of nonstandard employment and their
    associated risk across countries?

Heidi Gottfried, associate professor of sociology and labor studies at Wayne State University, has written extensively on the topic of precarious work for over two decades. Her most recent publications include: “Pathways to Economic Security,” in a special issue on precarious employment in Social Indicators Research; and a chapter on Japan in The Contours of Precarious Employment in Comparative Perspectives (Routledge 2009). Her article on agency temporary help firms, originally published in Sociological Forum, was reprinted in Sociology: Windows on Society and recently was translated into Chinese for publication in a book on Human Resource Management. She is currently finishing a book manuscript tentatively entitled, Gender, Work and Economy.

November 3, 2011:             


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151

Readings:  Since we do not have a week open between Heidi Gottfried and Guy Standing’s presentations we will be reading the first half of Guy Standing’s book The Precariat:  The New Dangerous Class, as well as a selection from Heidi Gottfried’s readings.

October 27, 2011:               


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Fedex Global Education Center Room 1005

Readings:  Silver, Beverly.  2003.  Forces of Labor.  New York:  Cambridge Univeristy Press and Silver, Beverly and Lu Zhang.  2009.  “China as an Epicenter of World Labor Unrest” in Ho-fung Hung, Ed. China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism.  Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press.

Biography:   Beverly J. Silver is a  Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins  University. Her research focuses on problems of development, labor, social conflict and war, using comparative and world-historical methods of  analysis. Her work recasts a variety of issues in a broad spatial and  temporal framework in order to identify patterns of recurrence, evolution and
“true novelty” in contemporary processes of globalization.  She is author of Forces of Labor: Workers’  Movements and Globalization since 1870, which won several awards, including  the 2005 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award of the American Sociological Association.  The book has been translated and published in numerous languages, including Spanish (AKAL), German (Assoziation A), Korean (Greenbee) ,  Portuguese (Boitempo), Italian (Bruno Mondadori), Turkish (Yordam Kitap), Polish (Le Monde Diplomatique, Warsaw) and Chinese (Social Science Documentation Publishing House, in press).  Beverly Silver is also co-author of Chaos and Governance  in the Modern World System (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), which won the 2001 Distinguished Publication Award of the Political Economy of the World
System section of the American Sociological Association.  Silver teaches courses on social theory, macro-comparative methods, development, labor and the political economy of global capitalism. She is on the Faculty Advisory Board of
the Institute for Global Studies in Culture, Power and History at Johns Hopkins University, and was elected Chair of the Political Economy of the World  System Section of the American Sociological Association for 2002-2003.

October  20, 2011:               


October  13, 2011          


Time:   2:30- 3:30 pm

Location:  Hamilton Sociology Faculty Staff Lounge, across from Hamilton 151

Readings:  Silver, Beverly.  2003.  Forces of Labor:  Workers’ Movements and Globalization Since 1870.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press

October 13, 2011

A Discussion with Shehzad Nadeem, Author of Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves

3:30- 4:30 pm

Hamilton 271

In the Indian outsourcing industry, employees are expected to be “dead ringers” for the more expensive American workers they have replaced-complete with Westernized names, accents, habits, and lifestyles that are organized around a foreign culture in a distant time zone. Dead Ringers chronicles the rise of a workforce for whom mimicry is a job requirement and a passion. The book explores the complications of hybrid lives and presents a vivid portrait of a workplace where globalization carries as many downsides as advantages.

Shehzad Nadeem is assistant professor of sociology at Lehman College, City University of New York. Over the years, Nadeem’s research has focused on the intersection of labor, culture, and globalization. His book, Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves (Princeton University Press, 2011), examines the effects of global outsourcing on Indian employees paid to mimicAmericans’ accents, habits, and customs. Nadeem’s research has been featured in Nature, The Guardian, Fast Company and Asian Affairs, and he has appeared on the BBC World Service and Radio-Canada. His current project, “The Fugue of Globalization,” explores the prevalence of copying in our cultural and economic life, and the resulting search for authenticity. Nadeem currently teaches courses on urban and global sociology.

October 7:    

CK Lee Public Presenation Video – 


Title:  “The Enigma of Chinese Capitalism in Africa: Zambia as a Critical Case”

Time:   11:00-12:30pm

Location:  Toy Lounge at Dey Hall

Abstract: This talk examines the key characteristics of Chinese investments in Zambia, where the first of five Chinese-owned special economic zones in sub-Saharan Africa is located. Drawing on field data on the interactions among Chinese managers, Zambian workers, unions and government officials in both copper mining and construction, I will highlight the strategies of accumulation and legitimation by the Chinese and the constraints imposed on them by the Zambians, as way to probe the question of the peculiarity of Chinese capitalism.

Biography:  Ching Kwan Lee is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Michigan before moving to UCLA. She is author of Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (2007) and Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998). Her edited and co-edited books include From the Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers and the State in a Changing China (2011); Reclaiming Chinese Society: New Social Activism (2009), Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: Politics and Poetics of Collective Memory in Reform China (2007) and Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation (2007). She is currently working on two research projects: one on the “grassroots state” and class politics in China and the other examines Chinese investment and labor practices in Zambia’s copper mining and construction industries.

October 6, 2011


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151

Readings: Against the Law:  Labor Unrest in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt

September 29, 2011


We met on Thursday, September 29 from 3:30- 5pm, in Hamilton 151 to discuss the first half of Ching Kwan Lee’s book Against the Law, Labor Protest in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. 
We read through the end of Part II, or page 153.
The following week, October 6, we reviewed the second half of the book.  Ching Kwan Lee joined the reading group.
On Friday, October 7, she give a public presentation in the Toy Lounge of Dey Hall, from 11am- 12:30pm.
A link to the video of her presentation can be found here:

September 22, 2011     


Time:   3:30- 5pm

Location:  Hamilton 151


Precarious labor_Literature Review_Arnold and Bongiovi

Neilson and Rossiter_precarity as political concept

Lee_Raw Encounters

Opposition Leader Is Handed Reins in Zambia

September 15, 2011

No reading group meeting

September 8, 2011

On Thursday, September 8 we  discussed “Gender and Precarious Work” from 3:30- 5pm in Hamilton 151
Readings were selections from:
Leah Vosko (2009) Gender and the Contours of Precarious Employment.  “Introduction” and Chapter 13, “Spatial dimensions of gender percariousness:  Challenges for comparative analysis”
Leah Vosko, et al (2010) Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment.  “Introduction” and Chapter 7, “Alternatives to SER”

September 1, 2011

We had our first working group session of the fall semester on Thursday, September 1, from 3:30-5pm in Hamilton 151.

We will be reviewed the fall 2011 seminar schedule.

We will also reviewed Arne Kalleberg’s introductory presentation the the Precarious Work in Asia July 19- 20 Asia Partners Conference at Chung An University in Seoul Korea:

Kalleberg.Intro Remarks

As well as introductory comments by Kevin Hewison:

Approaching and conceptualizing precarious work1

Another presentation that might be of interest, which we will not be reviewing in the seminar, is the comparative data presentation by Joe Bongiovi.

PWA Comparative Data Presentation 11-07-20

As well as Dennis Arnold and Joe Bongiovi’s Precarious Work literature review:

Precarious labor_Literature Review_Arnold and Bongiovi

We look forward to seeing you at both this, and future, sessions.

Spring 2011 Key Events and Achievements

Thank you for helping make the Spring 2011 Sawyer Seminar- Precarious Work in Asia a success.

We kicked of the semester by holding a well attended reception at R&R Grill on Thursday, January 27.

During the semester, we held 12 Working Group Meetings, with discussions being facilitated at different times by Kevin Hewison, Arne Kalleberg, John Pickles, Anne Allison, Federico Luisetti, Yong Cai, Dae-oup Chang, Dennis Arnold, Jessica Pearlman, Tiantian Yang, Shane Elliott and Joe Bongiovi.

We also held three Public Seminar presentations by Peter Coclanis, Stephanie Barrientos and Dae-oup Chang and participated in a joint meeting joining in with the Capturing the Gains Project.

Details on all of these events and readings can be found on the Seminars & Working Group page of this website

We are very much looking forward to upcoming events, including our Asia Partners Conference on July 19-20 in Seoul, Republic of Korea

We will continue to meet weekly in Hamilton 151 on Thursdays from 3:30- 5pm for our fall 2011 Reading Group Meetings

We also have an exciting fall 2001 public speaker series with details outlined on this website

April 25, 2011

Working Group regularly scheduled meeting at noon in Hamilton 150.

This will be our last meeting of the Spring Semester.  Will be reviewing Arne Kalleberg’s ASA Presidential Address on Precarious Labor, Dennis Arnold’s paper on Labor Trends in Southeast Asia and a paper on Informality by Alejandro Portes.  Please let us know if you plan to attend and we will send you a copy of these readings.

April 18, 2011

Working Group meeting at noon in Hamilton 150 facilitated by Anne Allison.

We will be discussing her paper:  Ordinary Refugees: The Loss (and Re-making) of “Homeism” in Post-Fordist Japan


NB: This paper is a draft only. Please do not cite or circulate without permission of the author.

Tuesday, April 12

Title: ‘Labour Chains’ – the rise of contract workers in global production networks


Location: 271 Hamilton Hall

Time: 5:30- 7pm

Public Talk by Stephanie Barrientos

Brooks World Poverty Institute
Institute of Development Policy & Management
University of Manchester

The use of third party labour contractors is increasingly prevalent in global production across developing and developed countries, but has largely been overlooked within the literature. This paper combines global production network (GPN) and value chain analysis to examine the commercial logic of linkages between firms as a driver behind the use of third party labour contractors in global production. It explores how governance and the extraction of economic rents by northern lead firms through outsourcing to the south bolsters product quality and value capture for them by displacing cost and risk to suppliers within the chain. The fragmentation of production across national boundaries creates concentrated pockets of labour demand for ‘the right type of workers’ in diverse locations. The paper argues that the pressures generated stimulate the outsourcing of labour by suppliers through ‘labour chains’ which partly mirror patterns of global production through value chains. It argues that contract labour operates in GPNs across a continuum with different levels of gradation between better protection and rights at one end, to debt bondage and links to trafficking at the other. The paper analyses the implications for addressing coercive practices and enhancing protection and rights of workers, where employer attachment is distended through labour intermediaries operating beyond regulatory reach. Strategies to address the excesses of labour contracting can only be effective if they also address underlying commercial logic of global production.

Stephanie Barrientos is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Development Policy and Management and Associate Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at The University of Manchester. She was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2000-7).  She gained her BA and PhD in Political Economy at the University of Kent.  She has researched and published widely on gender, global production, employment, decent work, trade and labour standards, corporate social responsibility, fair trade, and ethical trade. She has undertaken research in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the UK. She coordinated a research project on Gender and Ethical Trade in African Horticulture (funded by DFID) and was the European coordinator of an international research programme on the mainstreaming of Fair Trade (funded by Ford Foundation and Leverhulme Foundation).  She coordinated the UK Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Impact Assessment (2003-2006) with comparative studies in 5 countries and 3 sectors. She coordinated a study for Cadbury Plc Mapping Sustainable Production in Ghanaian Cocoa (widely cited in the press), which informed the formation of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership providing UK£45M to support cocoa farmers, and their subsequent move towards Fairtrade. She is Programme Director for the MSc Globalisation and Development at the University of Manchester, currently supervises 5 PhD students, and has supervised 4 Phd and 10 Mphil Dissertations to completion. She is co-coordinator with Professor Gary Gereffi (Duke University) of the DFID funded international research network Capturing the Gains: Economic and Social Upgrading in Global Production Networks that links researchers in US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America ( She has advised and provided training for a number of companies, NGOs and international organisations on issues concerning gender, agribusiness, ethical trade, decent work, and  impact assessment, including: ActionAid, Body Shop, Cadbury Plc, CAFOD, Christian Aid, DEFRA, DFID, Gates Foundation, Green & Blacks, CAFOD, ILO, Oxfam, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank,  WIEGO, Women Working Worldwide and Unite.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Working Group regularly scheduled meeting at noon in Hamilton 150.

We will be discussing three papers by our Asia partners:

Dibyendu Maiti and Kunal Sen “The Informal Sector in India:  A Means of Exploitation or Accumulation?” jsad~5-1_01-Maiti_&_Sen

Rene E. Ofreneo “Labor Law Reforms in Globalizing East Asia” LaborLawReformsEastAsia.Edited

Kwang-Yeong Shin “Globalization and the Working Class in South Korea:  Contestation, Fragmentation and Renewal” Shin_(2010)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Working Group will be meeting at noon in Hamilton 150

Federico Luisetti will be facilitating a discussion on precarity in Europe.

The two papers that we will be reviewing follow: TrontiOperaiCapitale VirnoGeneralIntellect

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Working Group will be meeting at noon in Hamilton 150

John Pickles will be facilitating a discussion on “Precaridad:  A Cartographic Geneology of a Concept” a chapter from Maria Isabel Casas-Cortes dissertation on precarity in Europe, entitled “Social Movements as Sites of Knowledge and Production:  Precarious Work, the Fate of Care and Activist Research in Globalizing Spain”.

Chapter 6 follows   maribel_ch6_oct26_2009

A presentation by Maribel in the same topic follows  power_point_precarity_studies_dec2010[1] w edits

Link to full dissertation:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

271 Hamilton Hall, 5:30- 7:30pm

Peter Coclanis “Precarious Paddies: The Uncertain, Unstable, and Insecure Lives of Rice Farmers in the Mekong Delta”

While farming in the Mekong Delta has always been difficult and often  risky for farmers, a series of developments in the region over the past  twenty-five years have added new levels of precarity to the lives of  Delta rice growers. A number of these developments–economic, social,  political, and environmental– will be analyzed, and some of the  specific ways in which they are impacting individual farmers in the  region will be detailed.

Peter A. Coclanis is Albert R. Newsome Professor of History and  Associate Provost for International Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill. He  served as Associate Dean for General Education at UNC from 1993 to 1998,  and chaired the History Department from July 1, 1998 through December  31, 2003. He is also an adjunct professor in Economics and a Faculty  Affiliate in the Department of Asian Studies.   Coclanis was born in Chicago and took his Ph.D. at Columbia University  in 1984, joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill that same year. He  works in the fields of American, international, and Southeast Asian  economic history, and has published widely in these fields.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Department of Geography Colloquium Series talk by Dr. Sandya Hewamanne, entitled, “Producing resistance: Transnational work, transgressive readings and commodification of desire in Sri Lanka.”  will be held on Tuesday, March 15th, in the  Toy Lounge, on the 4th floor or Dey Hall, at 3:30 PM.    Tea, coffee, and cookies before the talk, at 3:15.  Dr. Hewamanne is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, and is the author of  Stitching Identities in a Free Trade Zone: Gender and Politics in Sri Lanka (University of Pennsylvania Press: 2008).  You can learn more about her research at:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Working group meeting: Hamilton Hall 150, 12-1:30 PM.

Theme:  Review of Multiple Flexibilities Concept Paper.  This formed the basis of our Sawyer Seminar Proposals.

Objective:  Now that we are two months into the seminar, we would like to get input from Working Group participants on ways to improve this concept paper, as well as implement those changes through the Sawyer Seminar.

Multiple_Flexibilities_Concept_Paper2 Final

February 28, 2011

Working group meeting: Hamilton Hall 150, 12-1:30 PM.

Theme: Globalization and social solidarity, continued

Responses to Burawoy’s (2010) article:

and his reply:

and a final commentary by Peter Waterman:

February 21, 2011

Working group meeting: Hamilton Hall 150, 12-1:30 PM.

Theme:  Globalization and social solidarity

Guy Standing  “Economic Insecurity and Global Casualization:  Threat or Promise?”   Standing_2008_insecurity_and_global_casualization

Michael Burawoy  “From Polanyi to Pollyanna:  The False Promise of Global Labor Studies”

February 14, 2011

Public Lecture: Dae-oup Chang, The Rise of East Asia and Classes of Informal Labour


FedEx Global Education Center 1005, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM.

Description: The ways in which capitalist labor dominates people’s livelihoods in East Asia is distinctive. The celebrated ‘rise of East Asia’ relies on the ‘fluidification of capital relations’, leading to a particular form of development that does not require capital to rely on regular, protected, and formal jobs for successful accumulation. One result is the so-called ‘traditional’ working class is decreasing as a proportion of the entire laboring population in East Asia. Rather than producing a singular and cohesive class of working women and men, this development produces many different classes of labor whose livelihood depends on insecure and oppressive wage employment or a wide range of precarious jobs and survival activities in the ‘informal economy’, cutting across rural and urban areas of development. Contemporary East Asian development actively builds multiple hierarchies among classes of labor—this condition calls for a fundamental reorientation of labor and social movements in East Asia.

Dae-oup Chang teaches in the Department of Development Studies, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research interest includes labor relations in East Asia, political economy of East Asian development, critique of the developmental state and global value chains. His current research aims to investigate East Asia’s place in global capitalist development by analyzing changing capital-labor relations in East Asian countries, regional integration of East Asia and its implication for the globalizing circuits of capital. His recent publications include Capitalist Development in Korea: Labour, Capital and the Myth of the Developmental State (2009, Routledge) and ‘Informalising Labour in Asia’s Global Factory’ (2009, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 39, No. 2).

February 14, 2011

Working Group Meeting:  Hamilton 150, 12- 1:30

Special Guest Dae-oup Chang

February 7, 2011

Working Group Meeting: Hamilton Hall 150, 12-1:30 PM.

Theme: Globalization and labor in the informal economy

Objective: Review literature on theories and empirical/statistical models of work in the informal economy

Bernstein H (2007)  Capital and labour from centre to margins

CHAPTER 2 FROM: Bacchetta E, Ernst E and Bustamante J (2009)  Globalization and Informal Jobs in Developing Countries

SKIM READ: International Labour Organization (2002)  Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture

January 31, 2011

Working Group Meeting:  Hamilton Hall 150, 12-1:30 PM.

Theme:  Approaches to precarious work, with discussion of 4 papers, led by Kalleberg, Arnold, Hewison and Bongiovi. Papers to be read and discussed are:

Martha Alter Chen (2007) Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment

Leah F. Vosko, Nancy Zukewich and Cynthia Cranford (2003) Precarious jobs: A new typology of employment

Dae-oup Chang (2008) Reclaiming Labour Law and Beyond

Dae-oup Chang (2009) Informalising Labour in Asia’s Global Factory

January 27, 2011

Launch of the Sawyer Seminar Series, R&R Grill.

January 24, 2011

Working Group Meeting:  Hamilton 150, 12- 1:30pm

January 14, 2011

Working group meeting: Joint meeting with the Capturing the Gains Project team, Centre on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Duke University.

December 15, 2010

Working group meeting: Precarity: A Genealogy of a Concept

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on Precarious Work in Asia

Each semester of the seminar – Spring 2011, Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 – the Seminar involves: (1) a series of weekly working/reading group meetings; and (2) a series of talks, presentations and workshops. This page sets out the details and schedules for these activities.  Talks, presentations and workshops are open to the public. Weekly working/reading group meetings are available for faculty and graduate students, and it is expected that participants will have completed the set readings so as to facilitate discussions.

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