DS0803 -

Growth and forms of employment: an euro asiatic comparison of uncertainty at work – Eurasemploi

Submission summary

The EURASEMPLOI project analyzes the relationship between high economic growth, changes in employment and forms of uncertainty at work that these mutations generate. Grouped around four partner institutions - Inalco, Paris Diderot University, the Ehess and SciencesPo – involving experimented historians, sociologists and doctoral students, experts of several cultural areas, it adopts a comparative approach in both space and time. It confronts the Chinese, Japanese, French and a number of Comecon countries national configurations. The choice of these research fields leads to an intertemporal comparison between the period of growth from 1950 to 1970 for France, Japan and the Comecon countries and the era that opened in the 1980s in China.
Those four socio-historical situations faced one thing in common, the building of a productivist model leaving the State with a key role in a simultaneously economic and social regulation. However, to understand the national forms of "precariousness" in a situation of growth and to compare them, this research aims at making a more complex and "situated" vision of the fragmentation and hierarchies of the labor market, and of the uncertainties arising for the related categories of workers. That is why it will document the diversity of situations across industries and job types, choosing areas that, from the perspective of the problematic adopted, are placed in a paradoxical position, hence “worth considering”: the services to individuals, dramatically transformed in the twentieth century under the influence of labor, demography and family structures changes; energy with mines, symbols of the dialectic between the intense risk supported by the workers, and a military-style regulation of manpower; and textile production, the oldest industry, but also the first to have had to face the global competition. In each of these sectors, work life trajectories will be reconstituted , family budget and time budget studied, for both quantitative and qualitative use. Moreover, in each particular country, will be analyzed the statistical and political economy categories used by actors and observers of labor relations - trade unions and employers, but also experts, designers of social surveys or social indicators - to characterize forms of uncertainty in the labor market.
Still, we will try to show that heterogeneity does not imply the impossibility to identify regularities in the mechanisms constructing this "precariousness" and in its preferred targets. The level of insecurity varies greatly depending on the types of employment or contract of employment, gender, degree of exposure to risk (illness, dismissal, industrial accidents), access to social benefits, and the degree of state regulation (occupations or industries). On each of the studied national cases, we will try to show, even more than in the existing literature, how the working class is plural in industry, age, gender and qualification: the standardization process of the forms of employment during the high growth phase did not produce a homogenization as advanced as it is presupposed, for the following period, by the thesis of the "de-standardization of labor ".

Project coordinator

Monsieur Bernard THOMANN (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales/ Centre d'Etudes Japonaises)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


UPD / CESSMA Université Paris Diderot / Centre d'Etudes en Sciences Sociales sur les Mondes Africains, Américains et Asiatiques
CRH - Esopp Ecole des Hauts Etudes en Sciences Sociales / Centre de Recherches Historiques
INALCO / CEJ Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales/ Centre d'Etudes Japonaises

Help of the ANR 386,955 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2016 - 48 Months

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