CFP: City as Employer, Worker as Citizen

Maansi Parpiani's picture
Call for Papers
September 18, 2019 to September 21, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Contemporary History, Local History, Social Sciences, Urban History / Studies

The RC21 conference 'In and Beyond the City: Emerging Ontologies, Persistent Challenges and Hopeful Futures' would be held in Delhi on 18-21 September 2019. Panel number P5 - 'City as Employer, Worker as Citizen'

Recent attention to 'gig economies' has revealed both the scale of short-term, contractual work and the challenges in regulating such work in cities across the world. The debate has thrown up a host of questions: how should services like Uber cabs be priced and taxed? Who should remunerate those cleaning Airbnb apartments? How should a minimum wage for domestic workers be calculated and implemented? Even though these debates have received global attention and urgency only recently, work outside singular notions of time-schedule, work site and number of employers, is not new, especially in cities of the Global South. This panel seeks to bring together experiences from across North-South divides as well as across older and newer kinds of 'non-standard' work. Adopting a spatial focus, it calls for both empirical and analytical focus on the spaces wherein such work takes place: cities, neighbourhoods, workshops, homes, streets. How does work create its own work-site, lending economic meaning to the activities and transactions within it?

By focussing on the urban, the panel invites papers delving but not restricted to the following themes: changing forms of work, entrepreneurship, family businesses, contractual relationships, migratory and commuting trajectories, inter-generational work, economic competition, legislative regulation, workers' movements interactions with technology, monopolies or occupational hoarding. Proposals that look at the impact of processes of suburbanisation, slum rehabilitation, natural disasters, political regime change, de-industralisation, urban violence, policing and rule of law on notions of work in the city, are also invited. 

The last date for submission of abstracts is 20 January 2019. Please send submissions to, with the conference organisers, copied to the email. More information about the conference can be found at 

Contact Info: 

Maansi Parpiani

PhD Fellow
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
University of Copenhagen

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