Deadline: 01.03.2022

Ethnographies of Work

Call for Papers for an Issue of Research in the Sociology of Work. Deadline: March 1, 2022

Rick Delbridge, Markus Helfen, Andi Pekarek and Gretchen Purser, editors

Ethnographic studies provide unrivalled insights into the ‘hidden’ social worlds and places of work, enabling analyses of the experiences of work, its nature and context, and the impacts of contemporary developments from technology through economic and organizational change to the consequences of the Covid pandemic. Such research gives voice to the under-represented and disenfranchised of society while exploring and exposing the characteristics and consequences of the nature of contemporary capitalism in and through work.

This Special Issue of Research in the Sociology of Work invites papers that explore the changing nature of work but also the continuities that mark worlds of work. We also welcome papers that explore the methodological issues of ethnography in the context of researching work. Our interest is in providing a showcase for a broad range of the latest research in the ethnographic traditions of the sociology of work.

Articles can address any of a wide range of topics and themes, including but not limited to the following:

• Control and Resistance at Work
• Precarious Employment
• Gig Work and the Platform Economy
• ‘Dirty’ or ‘Dangerous’ Work
• Work and Family
• Knowledge Work and Creative Work
• ‘Diversity’ Management
• Intersectionality at Work
• Work and Social Movements
• Gender, Work, and Neo-liberalism
• Work and Sustainability
• Work and the State
• Emotional Labour and Service Work
• Sex Work
• AI, Data, and Automation at Work
• Occupations and Professions
• Immigrants at Work
• Global Supply Chains and Work
• Work in the time of Covid and beyond

We invite a range of contributions.

Extended empirical papers should be based on ethnographic research and include an in-depth discussion of empirical findings. These may run up to 20,000 words in length (inclusive) in order to allow for an extended presentation of novel and significant research findings. We are seeking to showcase the rich contribution of research in the ethnographic tradition, and therefore this type of submission is intended to form the centrepiece of this volume. Standard papers which develop new insights into work through empirical analysis or examine methodological aspects of ethnography are also welcome. These should be a maximum of 10,000 words.

Short commentaries or provocations are contributions that provide a personal insight or comment on current debates in ways that are not possible in the conventional paper form. These may address any issue related to the ethnographic study of work and should be no longer than 3,000 words in length.

Extended reviews are contributions that review one or more monographs that feature ethnographic research. These might be recently published books or entail the revisiting of previously published work in ways that reflect on its contemporary significance. We also invite reviews of other media which develop insights into worlds of work. These contributions should be no longer than 5,000 words.

Submissions are invited for contributions of all types and may be made at any time up until 1st March 2022. Please submit your manuscript to RSWEditors(at) and include Ethnography in the subject line.

We encourage prospective authors to contact us if you would like to discuss your idea for a submission, particularly if you are considering submitting a ‘non-standard’ paper.

Future volumes will address questions of Employability and Essential and Nonesssential Work. Calls for papers will appear here:

Call for Papers (PDF)