[Air-L] 5th ERQ Conference - Call for abstracts: It’s a free work… When work relations become passionate

Maurizio maurizio.teli at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 06:19:00 PST 2013

Apologies for cross-posting, I thought it can interest some of you.



Dear colleague,

We are pleased to send you the call for abstracts of the session *It**’s a
free work… When work relations become passionate* of the V Ethnography and
Qualitative Research Conference.

Your contribution to the proposed session will be greatly appreciated!

Attached & below, please find the call for abstracts of the *V* *Ethnography
and Qualitative Research Conference*, to be held in Bergamo*, **Italy**, Ju*
*ne* *5**-**7**, 2014*.

Proposals should be sent by* Februay 17, 2014 *to:
annalisa.murgia at unitn.it
maurizio at ahref.eu
Please, also CC the conference address: workshop.etnografia at unibg.it

Each proposal, of a maximum length of 1000 words, should contain:
• the title of your talk;
• your contact details (full name, email address, post address and
affiliation) and those of your co-author/s, if any.

Contributions will be accepted in both *Italian* and *English*.

Acceptance of proposals will be notified by March 17, 2014. Contributors
must register by April 21, 2014 to be included in the program.

With best wishes,
Annalisa Murgia & Maurizio Teli


*Call for **abstracts*
*V Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference.*
Bergamo, Italy
*5-7* *June** 2014*
*website: *www.etnografiaricercaqualitativa.it

*Proposed session: *
*It’s a free work… When work relations become passionate*

*Session Organizers*
Annalisa Murgia, University of Trento, Italy,
*annalisa.murgia at unitn.it*<annalisa.murgia at unitn.it>
Maurizio Teli, <ahref Foundation, Trento, Italy, maurizio at ahref.eu

In contemporary knowledge society, both creativity and the ability to put
into play personal resources are recognized as precious and valuable
competences. With this workshop, we want to stimulate a reflection within
the debate on *free work *(Beverungen et al. 2013; Chicchi et al. 2013),
starting with the ambivalent meaning of the word *free*, referring both to
the absence of a price and to the domain of freedom. We invite to elaborate
on the double face of contemporary work: on one side, it is characterized
by low or absent wages, it is so intrusive to become totalizing; on the
other side, it is often based on informal registers, on subjects’ desire
for freedom, and on the confusion between free time and working time.

Drawing upon the contribution on free software development by the
anthropologist Christopher Kelty (2008), we can frame this social
phenomenon as the expansion of voluntary activities that intertwine with
work activities in many forms. What is common among software developers –
and among others who describe their work primarily as a passion – is not
only the individual expression of creativity, but also the translation of
the playful-affective dimension in recursive processes of relation,
processes that bring to a preoccupation for the institutional,
technological, political and economical conditions which the particular
community and its productive activities are based on. These are, therefore,
working experiences (paid or unpaid) in which the subjects’ identification
and self-expression are conveyed both by putting life itself at work
(Morini e Fumagalli 2010; Fleming 2012) and by questioning the social
relations within which work is realised (Borghi et al. 2011).

The proposed subject of analysis is as wide as heterogeneous, and it
includes knowledge work, the creative industries and high tech production
chains, emotional and caring work, all sharing the ambivalences of free
work. What are the characteristics of the activities wherein subjects
invest their affections and desires and that become incorporated by the
rhetoric of work as a mission? If, on one side, free work makes
economically valuable free expert activities, can it allow the emergence of
new forms of collective action? How can we understand the main traits of
such phenomenon, in particular from a methodological perspective?

- Beverungen, A., Otto, B., Spoelstra, S., Kenny K. (eds.) (2013) Special
Issue on “Free work”, *ephemera, **theory** & politics in organization*,
vol. 13, n. 1.
- Borghi, V., Dorigatti, L., Rizza, R., Telljohann, V. (eds.) (2011) *Lavoro
e partecipazione**. Sindacati **e** movimenti sociali nella globalizzazione
dei processi produttivi*, Milano, Angeli.
- Chicchi, F., Risi, E., Fisher, E., Armano, E. (eds.) (2014, forthcoming)
Special Issue on “Free and unpaid work, gratuity, collaborative activity
and precariousness. - Processes of subjectivity in the age of digital
production”, *Sociologia del lavoro*.
- Fleming, P. (2012) “Some might Call it Work . . . but We don’t”:
Exploitation and the Emergence of Free Work*, **Research in the Sociology
of Organizations**, vol. 37*, pp.105-128
- Kelty, C.M. (2008) *Two bits: The cultural significance of free software*,
Durham, NC and London, Duke University Press Books.
- Morini, C., Fumagalli, A. (2010) “Life put to work: towards a theory of
life-value”, *ephemera: theory & politics in organization*, vol. 10, n.
3-4, pp. 234-252.

If you have questions about the session, please feel free to contact the
Session Organizers for more information.

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