The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Work, Employment and Economic Life
Researching the nature of work and industrial change domestically and at the international level.
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The study of work, once the mainstay of sociology, is witnessing a revival. There is keen interest in the material and institutional conditions of everyday working lives in the context of the global economic crisis, and a renewed focus on the inequalities that underlie who gets what kinds of work and employment opportunities. The University of Kent has a long tradition of scholarship in the sociology of work and economic sociology more generally, including in all its social policy dimensions. Within the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research, the Work, Employment and Economic Life cluster brings together work scholars who have built upon Kent’s legacy in new and exciting ways, both in the sorts of topics we research and in the ways that we study them.
All the members of the WEEL cluster at Kent are actively engaged in their own projects, often in collaboration with scholars across the UK - including at Brighton, Edinburgh, Essex, Keele, Manchester, Southampton, and Warwick - and internationally – including in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Korea, and the USA. In addition, we supervise a large number of doctoral students which means there is a wider community of researchers in this field at Kent. We are also part of the British Sociological Association’s study group on Work, Employment and Economic Life, and involved in the journal, Work, Employment & Society.
- Labour market policies
- Cross-national comparison of employment regimes
- Insecurity and precarity in work
- Work-autonomy and working-time flexibility
- Socio-economic processes
- Deindustrialisation and the changing nature of work
- Loss, nostalgia and the social impact of the post-industrial shift
- Working conditions
- Health, well-being and disability at work
- The working body and the deployment of the senses in work
- Young people’s imagination of working futures
- Older workers, extended working life and transitions into retirement
- Gender, careers and professions
- Work identity and the construction of meaning in everyday working life
- Work-life balance, work-family conflict and gender
- Spaces of work
- Representations of work (photography and film)
- Historical archive research in work organisations
- Policy analysis of government documents
- Organisational case studies
- In-depth qualitative and oral/life history interviews
- Secondary qualitative data analysis
- Analysis of large-scale survey data
- Analysis of cross-national (European, International) survey data
- Comparative analysis (surveys, case studies, interviews)
- Visual methods, including collaboration with photographers, film-makers and artists
- Sensory methods