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The cultural Contradictions of Capitalism - uncertainty and entrepreneurship
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The cultural Contradictions of Capitalism - uncertainty and entrepreneurship

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Presentation by Kazimierz Frieske (Director of the Polish Institute of Labour and Social Affairs) on the occasion of the EESC LMO conference on "Typical and atypical work contracts - advantages and …

Presentation by Kazimierz Frieske (Director of the Polish Institute of Labour and Social Affairs) on the occasion of the EESC LMO conference on "Typical and atypical work contracts - advantages and disadvantages from the labour market perspective" in Warsaw, Poland, on 8/9 April 2013.

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  • 1. CULTURAL CONTRADICTIONS OF CAPTALISM ATTENTION: PLAGIARISM !!!The heading of the presentation comes from the book written by Daniel Bell in 1974 Kazimierz W. Frieske Institute of Labour and Social Studies Warsaw, Poland kajtek@ipiss.com.pl
  • 2. The central thesis of the presentation is following: Dynamics of contemporary labour market namely, its segmentaion and sharp division betweenrelatively secure employment and the variety of ‘precarious’ jobs produces uncertainty, as opposed to ‘risk – taking’ that makes the backbone of traditional ‘market economy’ TO MAKE IT SHORT: calculable risk – taking is deeply embedded in the concept of entrepreneurship and in an idea of self-made man able to control his fate IT DOESN’T WORK ANY LONGER AND FOR SURE IT DOESN’T WORK ON SECONDARY LABOUR MARKET
  • 3. TO THE CONTRARYLife on the secondary labour market, ‘low pay – no pay’ life course, constant shuffling between temporary employment and unemloyment, etc. is ridden by uncertainy and lack of calculability !!! THE ‘RISK SOCIETY’ THAT WAS ENVISIONED BY ULRICH BECK AT THE END OF THE ‘80 BECOMES ‘THE SOCIETY OF UNCERTAINTY’
  • 4. HOWEVER, WE HAVE BEEN WARNED !!!In 2001 Mary Douglas, well reputed, British anthropologist wrote what follows: ... There can be no strong society without certainty... If we could choose a form of society that does not need certainty it would not be rich,or powerful, or cohesive... The whole society could consist of cultural isolates... the demand for certainty stems from necessity, not from intellectual need...Mary Douglas: Dealing with Uncertainty, Ethical Perspectives, 8/2001
  • 5. The Precariat. The New Dangerous Class. (Guy Standing, 2011)Contrary to the title of the book, precarious employment and people doing precarious jobs are too amorphous and too differentiated to make a ‘class’ in any real sense of the term The only common denominator that links them together is UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM IS THAT UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY TRANSLATE INTO ATTITUDES AND ORIENTATIONS THAT ARE OPPOSING THE IDEAL OF AN INDIVIDUALENTREPRENEURSHIP AND THE CONCEPT OF SELF-MADE MAN THAT ARE SO CRIUCIAL TO ‘MARKET ECONOMY’
  • 6. EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE: Tomasik, Silbereisen, Heckhausen Motivation and Emotion 4/2010...increase in precarious types of employment on the labor market producedeconomic hardships and disturbed routine career planning. Over and above theincreased uncertainty, individuals were confronted with acculturative demandsof acquiring new qualifications and learning new behaviors ... Individuals whowere challenged by many of such demands at the same time were at risk toovertax their personal and social resources and needed to find adaptiveresponses to deal with them adequately... Our findings show that those wholived under unfavorable conditions and who at the same time managed todisengage from the unattainable demands, or at least protected theirmotivational and emotional potential, were among the subjects reporting thehighest satisfaction with life ... SHORTLY:IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE, THAT UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY PRODUCE SUCH ADAPTATIVE STRATEGIES THAT ARE BUILD ON APATHY, PASSIVITY AS WELL AS THE LABOUR MARKET WITHDRAWAL
  • 7. CONCLUSION:GROWING NUMBER OF PRECARIOUS JOBS PRODUCES UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY TRANSLATE INTO SUCH CULTURAL ORIENTATIONS AND ADAPTATIVE STRATEGIES THAT MAKE PASSIVITY AND WITHDRAWAL STRATEGIES REWARDING QUE SERA, SERA... IT IS NOT AN ORIENTATION THE MARKETECONOMY IS PREPARED TO DEAL WITH FOR IT BUILDS ON EXACTLY OPPOSING ORIENTATIONS !!!