Solidarities in and through work in an age of extremes

2020-02-24T17:18:37Z (GMT) by Paul Anthony Brook Vanessa Beck
This article introduces a special issue of Work, Employment and Society on solidarities in and through the experience of work in an age of austerity and political polarisation. It commences by discussing the renaissance of studies of solidarity in the workplace – and beyond. Debates on solidarity as a concept are reviewed in relation to moral economy, labour organising-mobilisation, emotional labour and public sociology. Each of the special issue articles assess the value of the solidarity concept under contemporary conditions. Between them they explore solidarity among gig economy delivery riders (Italy and UK), special needs teachers (England), volunteer lifeboat crews (UK and Ireland) and international ‘social factory’ activists. Two articles examine solidarity within organised labour: first, internationalism among dock workers and second, North American police unions’ construction of a divisive ‘blue solidarity’. The article concludes by calling for continued study of different forms of solidarity in and through work, especially among migrants and individualised workers.