SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

The Crisis of Social Reproduction and the End of Work

Dr Nick Srnicek (King's College London)

Date: 6 February 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 6 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Seminar

There has been much discussion in recent years about the “crisis of work”, with academics and journalists alike pointing to potentially concerning trends in the labour market. We are increasingly aware of the fact high-income societies are facing the demise of “good jobs” and the rise of low-wage, temporary, and precarious employment. Over the past four decades, we have seen a dramatic increase in income inequality; middle-wage jobs have been hollowed out (with many being outsourced to “cheaper” parts of the globe), resulting in a mass of people at the bottom, and an ever-shrinking number of people at the top. Whilst it is encouraging to see these issues gaining cultural visibility and being incorporated into the policy agenda, such commentaries on the labour landscape tend to overlook the full extent of the problem. In foregrounding a narrow understanding of work, other activities (both waged and unwaged) are kept at arm's’ length from accounts of the crisis and potential solutions. Analysts too often fail to understand the systemic and integrated character of our present troubles – how the crisis of “work” is also a crisis of the “home”, and vice versa. This talk will seek to develop a more robust understanding of the current challenges facing the work of social reproduction in high-income societies, and to lay out proposals for dealing with these issues. 

Nick Srnicek is a Lecturer in Digital Economy at King's College London. He is the author of Platform Capitalism (2016) and Inventing the Future (2015, with Alex Williams). With Helen Hester, he is currently writing After Work: The Fight for Free Time (forthcoming).

Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail

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