Paula Urze (School of Science and Tecnology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, CIUHCT)
Ana Paula Marques (Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade do Minho, CECS)
Hermes Costa (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, CES)
Digital work in contemporary capitalist societies: challenges for Sociology of Work, Organisations and Professions
Digitalization, computerization, robotization and artificial intelligence have indelibly left a mark on the world of work in contemporary capitalist societies. The rapid spread of the digital economy represents a huge challenge given its complexity, unpredictability and dematerialization of processes, products, goods and services. While the optimists' and technocrats' views emphasize, above all, the growth of skilled labour associated with technological innovation, the most critical view underlines the polarization of qualifications, the degradation of working conditions and environment, the increase of digital bureaucracies and organisational hyper-technologization, resulting in the intensification of the pace of work, the exacerbation of social inequalities in labour, the fragmentation of the labour market and the suppression of a set of social guarantees reflected in a more precarious workforce. We are, without a doubt, facing an increasingly digital world of work, but also a more unstable, alienated, precarious and fragmented world of work, due as well to the pandemic context and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Discussing the growing social inequalities in the world of work, as well as the segmentation and social corrosion that accompany them, is a responsibility that Sociology and, in particular, the Sociology of Work, Organisations and Professions cannot fail to assume. Also, the institutional structures of regulation need to be mobilized for this sociological debate, to think about building and sustaining equitable and inclusive societies.
Because of the challenges facing sociology in this "polarized" context, to which the field of labour relations does not escape, we appeal to all sociologists and other social scientists to share with us the results of their research and/or professional actions.
Without intending to limit the nature of the social objects that may be mobilized for the debate on the field of labour, organisations, and professions, we enunciate the thematic areas of reference for the presentation of paper proposals in the framework of the XII Portuguese Congress of Sociology under the motto ‘Polarized Societies? Challenges for Sociology.’
The rules and deadlines to consider for the submission of abstracts, as well as more information about the XII Portuguese Congress of Sociology, can be consulted on the APS website at http://www.aps.pt.
The Thematic Section's coordination will select the best communications to be proposed for publication in the journal SOCIOLOGIA ON LINE.