Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ungleiche Anerkennung (eng)

Welcome To Our Project Website!


Hello and Welcome

 Foto: Karolina Szczur (Unsplash)

Unequal Recognition? Work and Love in the Context of Life of Precarious Employees

Over the past several years, precarious work has become a topic of great importance in both scientific and public debates. The existent sociological research on precariousness has focused almost exclusively on individuals and paid work, without taking into account its more broad-reaching social consequences. Though precarious work is not limited to low income occupations, but is closely related to reduced recognition. Though a persistent phenomenon, this correlation between precarious employment and a lack of recognition has received little sociological attention – as is the case with the concomitant issues of the impact on life context and gender relations.

In light of these lacunae, the proposed project aims to develop a recognition- and gender theory-based analysis of precarious employment that takes into account the life context of those involved. Concretely, the project examines the interactive practices through which precarious workers both with and without relationship partners achieve recognition and reproduce (gender) inequalities. By combining sociological research on work and family, studies of precarious employment and theories on recognition based on the work of Axel Honneth und Judith Butler, the study will investigate the interplay of precarious work and intimate (couple) relationships, the context of their household, other areas of life, gender concept and gender relations.

The project will conduct both interviews with couples and one-on-one interviews that employ a strictly reconstructive and intersubjective logic of research to investigate the chances of recognition and the relationships among work, life/love, and (gender) inequalities for precarious employees. The research will aim to answer the following questions: How do precarious workers gain recognition in the work sphere and in their intimate relationship? How do they experience the gained recognition? To what degree does the precariousness of work extend into the context of life and into intimate (couple) relationships? Or, alternatively, to what degree do precarious workers use the recognition gained in intimate (couple) relationships to compensate for its absence at work? How do singles cope, who do not have access to the love-based recognition of a couple relationship? Is precarious employment changing traditional gender concepts, images of masculinity, and gender relations? And, if so, then how?

Funded: German Research Foundation, 1/05/2014 – 30/04/2017