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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

GLOBALIZATION AND THE NEO-LIBERAL TREND JEOPARDIZES BASIC SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

P. 87-102.

Special characteristics of modern employment demonstrate serious changes in the character and the content of the labour process. The phenomenon of “the end of labour in its classical sense”, which triggered heated debates in the end of the XX century, was described in details by British sociologist Z. Bauman in his work «The Individualized Society»:

 

 “That situation has changed now, and the crucial ingredient of the change is the new ‘short term’ mentality which came to replace the ‘long term’ one. Marriages ‘till death us do part’ are now a rarity: the partners no longer expect to stay long in each other’s company. According to the latest calculation, a young American with a moderate level of education expects to change jobs at least eleven times during his or her working life – and that ‘job-changing’ expectation is certain to go on growing before the working life of the present generation is over. ‘Flexibility’ is the slogan of the day, and when applied to the labour market it means an end to the job ‘as we know it’, work on short-term contracts, rolling contracts or no contracts, positions with no inbuilt security but with the ‘until further notice’ clause” [Bauman 2001, p. 24]. 

 

Rising on the wave of industrialization, after the transition to the postindustrial, information epoch, labour is losing its past significance. More and more people consider labour as a heavy routine and would like to get rid of it forever. And especially in the circumstances of depressive aggravation of the so called global problems, which have not only been left unsolved since they were identified by the Rome club, but continue to forebode humanity death from ecological catastrophes, depletion of natural resources, incurable diseases, the planet’s overpopulation etc.  

There are obvious dramatic changes in the labour and employment sphere. After the transition to the postindustrial economy, classic labour (as a hard, back-breaking work, focused on achieving a material (embodied) result) ceases determining the sense of human existence.