Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship

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University of Toronto Press, 2000 - Political Science - 380 pages
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The first in-depth analysis of temporary work in Canada, Leah F. Vosko's important new book examines a number of important trends, including the commodification of labour power; the decline of the full-time, full-year job as a norm; and the gendered character of prevailing employment relationships. Spanning the period from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, Temporary Work traces the evolution of the temporary employment relationship in Canada and places it in an international context. It explores how, and to what extent, 'temporary work' is becoming a norm for a diverse group of workers in the labour market, taking gender as a central lens of analysis.

Recent scholarship emphasizes that the nature of work is changing, citing the spread of non-standard forms of employment and the rise in women's participation in the labour force. Vosko confirms that important changes are indeed taking place in the labour market, but argues that these changes are best understood in historical, economic and political contexts. This book will be invaluable to academics in a variety of disciplines as well as to policy analysts and practitioners.

 

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Although I have not read this book entirely, I have noticed an error I must point out. It was not "Antonio" Dini who was Antonio Cordasco's chief competition as a Padrone, but "Alberto" Dini, who was my husband's Great Great Grandfather. Alberto Dini was a Padrone in Montreal, not Antonio Dini. That's my 2-cents worth. 

Contents

Introduction
3
Labour Is Not a Commodity Shifting Employment Norms and the Modern Labour Market Intermediary
14
Putting Workers in Their Place The Early History of Private Employment Agencies
45
Halfway Houses for Housewives The Birth of the Temporary Help Industry
79
From StopGap Workers to Staffing Services The Expansion of the Temporary Help Industry
117
Promising Flexibility and Delivering Precariousness The Shape of the Contemporary Temporary Employment Relationship
157
Flexible Workers Intractable Regulatory Regime Regulating the Contemporary Temporary Employment Relationship
200
No Jobs Lots of Work The Rise of the Temporary Employment Relationship and the Emergence of WorkfareDriven Social Policy
230
The Challenge of Limiting Labour Market Fragmentation
251
Qualitative Methodology
279
Interviews
281
Notes
285
References
333
Index
359
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About the author (2000)

LEAH F. VOSKO is an assistant professor of labour studies and political science at McMaster University.

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