Events

Jun
11
Tue
2024
Denise Celentano (UdeM) @ Room 309, UdeM, Hybrid mode
Jun 11 @ 12:00 – 13:15
Denise Celentano (UdeM) @ Room 309, UdeM, Hybrid mode

As part of the CRÉ lunchtime conferences, Denise Celentano (UdeM) will give a presentation entitled “Status Labor”.

To participate via Zoom, click here.

Abstract

The concept of status is usually taken to describe people’s standing in the social hierarchy, referring to relatively static positions in the social order. Yet status norms have a dynamic side to them, too: they also require individuals to “do” status. I refer to the work of “doing status” as “status labor.” Status labor is the work that agents are implicitly expected to perform in order to act and counteract social status ascriptions. Status ascriptions are culturally mediated presumptions of competence triggered by social identifiers. The belief of lower competence in women, black or working-class people is an example. Status labor is the work implied by that belief, e.g., working harder to prove one’s competence or self-polishing to fit norms of suitability. Status labor perpetuates social hierarchies by inflicting higher contributory burdens on lower status agents. The presentation focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on the status labor that agents perform in the context of the workplace, where status-based expectations of suitability to roles are particularly relevant. The presentation has three main aims. First, partly drawing on the work of Erving Goffman and the sociology of social status, it conceptualizes status labor, providing an exploratory taxonomy through concrete examples and a differential analysis. Second, it locates status labor in a relational egalitarian framework. While ideas of “treatment” and “expression,” recurring in the relational egalitarian debate, tend to mostly focus on the interactional aspects of status, status labor focuses on the intra-personal work of complying with status scripts, thereby providing a more fine-grained understanding of dynamics of social subordination. Third, it formulates relational egalitarian as well as non-relational egalitarian objections to status labor.

Sep
13
Fri
2024
Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) @ Online
Sep 13 @ 11:00 – 12:00
Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) @ Online

As part of the activities of the Philosophy of Work Network, Lisa Herzog (UGroeningen) will offer a presentation entitled: “Labor Markets without Market Wages”.

The activities of the Philosophy of Work Network are open to researchers and graduate students with research interests in this area. Please write to the organizers, Denise Celentano (denise.celentano@umontreal.ca) and Pablo Gilabert (pablo.gilabert@concordia.ca), to receive the zoom link.

Abstract

Should wages be determined by market forces? This paper argues against this view, based on consideration of the kind of good that labor is and what it means to “trade” it. Two arguments brought forward in favor of market wages, the desert argument and the information argument, are not only mutually incompatible but also both not convincing. The first founders on the problem of complementarities in value creation. The second fails not only because of endogeneity problems, but also because of systemic market failures in labor markets. But is it possible to give up labor markets without endangering freedom of occupation or risking problematic degrees of inefficiency? This can be achieved by understanding labor markets as matching markets, comparable to those for donor organs: what matters is creating good matches, but the price mechanism is not central for this. From this perspective, various existing institutions, such as minimum wages and collective bargaining, can be reinterpreted as “approximative institutions” that move labor markets in a more just direction.