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“I Earn, Therefore I Exist”

Impoverished Bedouin Mothers Who Become Entrepreneurs

Nuzha Allassad Alhuzail

The changes among Bedouin in the Negev since the establishment of the State of Israel have had far-reaching implications for Bedouin women and their families. Bedouin women are marginalized, excluded from public life and the labor market. This exacerbates the economic inequality between Arabs and Jews, institutionalized, inter alia, in the 'Arab enclave', which lacks industrialization and is allocated fewer resources. This is a qualitative study among 20 Bedouin women raising large families and living in poverty who participated in SAWA, a microfinance program established by the Koret Foundation in Israel. It examines the process undergone by these women who succeeded in creating employment for themselves and for family members, thus raising their status within the family. Their contribution to the family income also improved their relationship with their husbands and other members of their family.

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Maoz Rosenthal

abstract

Parliaments channel legislation efforts and oversight functions to parliamentary committees in order for them to transform policy ideas into agreed-upon policies and then monitor their implementation. Committees play a major role in the policymaking process when they possess agenda-setting powers over the bills they process and through their employment of oversight capacities. The rules that construct checks and balances between the government and Israel’s Knesset potentially minimize the Knesset committees’ agenda-setting influence. Nevertheless, Knesset committee chairs strategically use their institutional powers to affect committee deliberations through bargaining and dynamic agenda setting. Consequently, Knesset committees play a major role in the policy process due to bargaining rather than through institutional rules.

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Patrik Vesan

This chapter analyzes some of the major labor reforms implemented by the Renzi government in 2015 in relation to youth employment, with reference to the Jobs Act. The strategy pursued by the executive has been to concentrate on combating the segmentation of the labor market by liberalizing individual and collective dismissals and by introducing a new type of contract, which offers a generous incentive for new permanent hires. The main goal of this strategy is to decrease the divisions between insiders and outsiders in the hope that this measure will encourage employers to stabilize workers, especially the younger ones, and invest in the development of human capital. Such a strategy, however, rests on weak foundations, which might call into question its effectiveness and with it the stability of Renzi’s leadership.

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"Who wants to marry a farmer?"

Neoliberal industrialization and the politics of land and work in rural West Bengal

Sarasij Majumder

This article seeks to understand why both anti-land acquisition protests and proindustrial rhetoric of provincial governments in India are fodder for populist politics. To understand this, the article explores the meanings that land and development have for the rural communities in West Bengal, India, who are trying to straddle the multiple worlds of farm ownership and nonfarm employment. Based on five years of ethnographic fieldwork in various parts of rural West Bengal, this article argues that resistances to corporate globalization, taken to be unambiguously anti-industrial or anticapitalist, reflect complex intentions. Protesting villagers are ambivalent toward corporate capital, but their support for industries and protests against corporations are grounded in local moral worlds that see both nonfarm work and landownership as markers of critical social distinction.

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Silke Schwandt

The article deals with the semantic career of virtus as a political concept in the Middle Ages. It traces the different aspects of meaning assigned to this word in four medieval texts, namely St. Augustine's City of God, the Regula Pastoralis of Gregory the Great, the Via Regia of Smaragdus of St. Mihiel, and the Policraticus of John of Salisbury. Using quantitative methods, I analyze the employment of virtus with a focus on its relevance in the political discourse, and I also address the shift in meaning and argumentative capacity that the term undergoes over time. In the end, virtus can be shown to be a highly flexible yet strongly functional term that plays an important role in the conceptions of medieval societies.

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Virtually a Historian

Blogs and the Recent History of Dispossessed Academic Labor

Claire Bond Potter

A contemporary history of higher education in the United States is being written on the Internet. Academic bloggers interrupt and circumvent the influence of professional associations over debates about unemployment, contingent labor, publishing, tenure review, and other aspects of creating and maintaining a scholarly career. On the Internet, limited status and prestige, as well as one's invisibility as a colleague, are no barrier to acquiring an audience within the profession or creating a contemporary archive of academic labor struggles. At a moment of financial and political crisis for universities, these virtual historians have increasingly turned their critical faculties to scrutinizing, critiquing, and documenting the neoliberal university. Although blogging has not displaced established sources of intellectual prestige, virtual historians are engaged in the project of constructing their own scholarly identities and expanding what counts as intellectual and political labor for scholars excluded from the world of full-time employment.

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Rowan Williams

In August 1581, Alexander Hoghton, of Lea and Hoghton Tower in Lancashire, died, after making a will in which he left bequests to a number of members of his household – a large one, as befitted one of the wealthiest men in the region, occupying an ample and spectacularly situated mansion not far from Preston. Among the beneficiaries are Fulk Gillom (who can be traced with some likelihood as belonging to a Chester family connected with the productions of the guild plays in the city) and William Shakeshafte. In addition to receiving legacies, these two are also recommended to a neighbour, Sir Thomas Hesketh, for patronage and/or employment; the context clearly suggests that they are involved with providing entertainments for the household.

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Anne Allison

Emerging from the defeat of the Second World War, Japan shifted its national lens from empire building abroad to productivity and prosperity at home. Organized around a particular form of sociality and capitalist economics, citizens worked hard for 'myhomeism' - the attachments (of men at the workplace, women to the household, children to school) that fuelled fast-growth economics and rising consumerism. In the last two decades of economic decline and more irregular employment, the 'nestling' of family and corporate capitalism has begun to unravel. In the 'lost decade' of the 1990s, many young Japanese assumed the ranks of what activist Karin Amamiya calls the 'precariat' - those precariously un(der)employed, unable to assume the social citizenship of my-homeism, and existentially bereft. How are people not only surviving hard times but also remaking their ties of social connectedness and their calculus of human worth?

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Giliberto Capano and Marco Giuliani

During the course of 2002, political news frequently focused on the

formal procedures and the informal dynamics of the workings of the

Italian Parliament. In a number of striking cases—international letters

“rogatory,” false accounting, “legitimate suspicion,” the “objective

law,” the conflict of interests, the law of delegation on employment,

the sending of troops abroad, and so on—journalists have had to

adapt their vocabulary, usually very careful of internal party and interparty

equilibria but superficial when it comes to parliamentary matters,

to the novelty of the subject at hand. However, it is not only

because of these headline stories that the country’s most important

representative institution deserves closer analysis. Parliament and its

relationship with the second Berlusconi government have created a

series of expectations over the past year: a form of political bi-polarity

free of “underhanded dealings” and “about-turns”; a tough battle

between a government coalition comforted by its parliamentary

majority and an opposition reunited in its struggle against the common

enemy.

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Feng Hao

The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.