International Labour Process

Call for papers
Date: 6-8 April, 2009.
Place: Edinburgh, UK
Deadline: 30 Oct.
Topics: transformation of retail work, gender and retail work, retail work and work-life balance, technology and retail work, transnational corporations and retail, workretail work and migrant labour

Next year the International Labour Process Conference will be held in
Edinburgh between 6th - 8th April 2009. Abstracts of 500 - 700 words are
due in by 30th October. As one of the joint organisers (with Odul Bozkurt)
of a stream on Retail Work we would be delighted if researchers interested
in this area would put in a paper.

Details of the stream are below and full conference information can be found
at ilpc.org.uk

Retail work is ubiquitous. From small family-owned businesses to the world's
largest private corporation, a vast range of employers are retailers. In
both the UK and the US, about 12 per cent of the working population are
employed in the sector (Burt and Sparks 2003) .

Retail work is highly variable. In some instances it involves attractive,
middle-class dominated �style� labour markets where workers enjoy heavy
discounts on the latest fashions (Warhurst and Nickson 2001; Nickson et al.
2001), while in most others it takes the form of poorly paid shift work
demanded by mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart (Ehrenreich 2001; Bair and
Bernstein 2006). In such distinctly different contexts, retail work can be
designed to be skilled (Gamble 2006) or unskilled (Kirsch et al. 2000),
knowledge-intensive or Taylorized, a potential career or a stop gap job.

Since, as with other aspects of the service sector, the worker is part of
the product being sold, then emotional and aesthetic labour, retail work is
gendered and racialized (Hochschild 1983; Bolton 2005; McGauran 2000).
Different groups and types of workers find highly divergent rewards in the
segmented labour markets of retailing.

Finally, retail work is increasingly located at the intersection of the
global and the local. As retailers rapidly transnationalize and join the
ranks of the world's largest transnational corporations, retail work in
distant locations is increasingly, if often invisibly, connected.
Comparative and multi-site studies promise to reveal much about the changing
nature of employment in a rapidly globalizing sector.

Work Matters, the International Labour Process Conference
The International Labour Process Conference is focussed on work and
employment relations in the context of the broader political economy, with
an emphasis on employee perspectives and theory-led empirical research. For
the Retail Work stream, paper topics could include � but are not limited
to�the following:

� transformation of retail work
� gender and retail work
� retail work and work-life balance
� technology and retail work
� transnational corporations and retail work
� retail work and migrant labour

Further details of the conference, the academic streams and the venue can be
found at http://www.ilpc.org.uk/. Abstracts of 500 � 700 words should be submitted
by 30th October 2008 and decisions on acceptance will be made by the end of
November.

Stream Convenors

Professor Irena Grugulis, Bradford University School of Management,
I.Grugulis@bradford.ac.uk

Dr Ödül Bozkurt, University of Lancaster