Germany Institute (DIA), Amsterdam / International Institute of Social History (IISH), Amsterdam / N.W. Posthumus Institute, Nijmegen
The Transformations in the World of Work: Bringing Sociological and Historical Perspectives Together
Prof. dr. Nicole Mayer-Ahuja, University of Göttingen
International Masterclass, 10 June 2020, IISH, Amsterdam
Since the 1970s, work is transforming all over the world. A sharp decline in employment, the dispersion of industrial units and the break-up of large workplaces is accompanied by the disappearance of full employment and the promotion of self-employment and self-provision. State protection for workers diminishes while public services have been liberalized. Trade unions had to adjust to a new role since collective action as organizing principle appeared to be less effective. Both among sociologists and historians, in the Netherlands, in Germany as well as globally, the interest in these developments and its consequences is rising.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean sociologists and historians often cooperate well nor even communicate with each other in a concise way. That they are working alongside each other results in missed opportunities. Sociologists could benefit from historical (long-term) perspectives on topical issues. Historians, who have become interested in these issues only recently, could profit from the knowledge and experience of sociologists and gain from their approaches, for example statistics or other methods used in behavioural science. Starting from the idea that in studying the transformation in the world of work both fields could benefit from further exchange and collaboration, this masterclass wants to discuss how to benefit from cross-disciplinary cooperation and interdisciplinary approaches.
We invite young scholars, from global labour history, social and economic history, (labour) sociology and (labour) anthropology, who study the transformation in the world of work since the 1970s up until today, to participate in this masterclass. How do we bring the fields together? On the basis of short papers, we will discuss the following questions:
• What can scholars from both disciplines learn from each other and what does that yield?
• What are the strong and weak spots where the fields can supplement each other?
• What are the crossroads (questions, definitions, methods, theories, answers) discussions among sociologist and historians should focus on?
• What current challenges are scholars in both fields facing and what are the steps forward?
The masterclass offers PhD candidates and early-stage post-docs the opportunity to discuss their research with an expert in the field. During the masterclass participants are asked to share their experiences and thoughts on the basis of a pre-submitted paper (with a max. of 2000-3000 words). This might be based on experiences within your own research, can be both empirical or more theoretical, or draw upon plans, ideas and suggestions not yet fully finalized. What insights did your research project already bring you? What parts of your project could benefit from (interdisciplinary) input? And even more important: why? The goal is to open up a concise and constructive exchange and to discuss difficulties and opportunities in our research.
During the masterclass the master, prof. dr. Nicole Mayer-Ahuja, will open up the discussion by some introductory remarks and by commenting on the papers. Mayer-Ahuja is professor of sociology (with a focus on work, company, and economy) at the University of Göttingen as well as director of the Sociological Research Institute (SOFI). Both in her research and in many SOFI-projects, she focused strongly on transnational perspectives on labour. On the one hand, her classical case-studies of labour sociology are extended to work constellations beyond Germany and even beyond Europe. On the other hand, her research on work and employment in Germany is increasingly analysed from a transnational perspective, through productive discussions and cooperations in the emerging field of Global Labour History and Global (Labour) Sociology.
The masterclass is convened in the context of the Graduiertenkolleg by the Germany Institute, in collaboration with the International Institute of Social History and the N.W. Posthumus Institute. The Graduiertenkolleg at the Germany Institute Amsterdam is a scientific programme for young researchers who are interested in German history, sociology and politics. It brings together scholars from Germany and the Netherlands who present their research projects and engage in discussions with Dutch and German experts. The International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam conducts academic research on the history of work and labour relations. This worldwide research is focused on the last five hundred years of globalization (1500-2000). The N.W. Posthumus Institute (NWP) is the Research School for Economic and Social History in the Netherlands and Flanders. It promotes innovative and advanced interdisciplinary research in economic and social history by stimulating joint research programmes of participating institutes and provides a PhD training in economic and social history. Besides the masterclass on Wednesday 10 June 2020 this Graduiertenkolleg includes a workshop with lectures on Thursday 11 June 2020.
International scholars are very welcome; however, we will not be able to cover your travel or overnight stays. Interested candidates are invited to send an abstract (c. 300 words) before April 1, 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected candidates will be notified by April 8, 2020. A full working paper should be submitted no later than May 22, 2020. Participants are expected to briefly present their work (maximum of 5 minutes) and mainly focus on formulating some concrete questions for input and feedback. To engage in a productive discussion, all participants are invited to read each other’s papers in advance.
Deadline submission abstract of c. 300 words: 1 April 2020
Selected candidates will be notified by: 8 April 2020
Deadline submission working paper of 2000-3000: 22 May 2020
International Masterclass: 10 June 2020
International Workshop (Graduiertenkolleg): 11 June 2020