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Open AccessArticle

Control on the ‘Boundary-Work’ in Work-Life Articulation for Flexible Knowledge Workers. Insights into Gender Asymmetries

by Anna Carreri 1,2
1
Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trent, 38122 Trent, Italy
2
SEIN—Identity, Diversity and Inequality Research, Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, BE3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(6), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9060107
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
In the sociological literature, several studies have shown that the economic and organizational changes of the last decade, including the growth of the service sector and the diffusion of new technologies, have altered the productive and reproductive processes as well as their spatial and temporal dimensions typical of Fordism. In order to shed light on how knowledge workers facing job flexibility and insecurity position themselves with respect to the practices of (de)constructing the boundaries between productive and reproductive domains, specific analytical tools were applied, originating from the interdisciplinary field of boundary-studies, within a perspective focused on gender differences and the subjective experiences of time. With this approach, a discourse analysis was conducted on 37 qualitative interviews with knowledge workers who handle job flexibility and insecurity and who have care responsibilities to uphold at home. The results show that the permeability and flexibility of new (re)productive practices, often presented in neoliberal economy as new opportunities for knowledge workers, especially if they are female, are experienced differently by men and women: for men they represent a new control source, whereas for women they constitute a fictitious, if not constricting, process. View Full-Text
Keywords: boundaries; knowledge work; flexibility; work-life interface; gender; quality of working life; discourse analysis boundaries; knowledge work; flexibility; work-life interface; gender; quality of working life; discourse analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Carreri, A. Control on the ‘Boundary-Work’ in Work-Life Articulation for Flexible Knowledge Workers. Insights into Gender Asymmetries. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 107.

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