Academic journal article Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies

Introduction

Academic journal article Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies

Introduction

Article excerpt

This issue contains six articles and two commentaries. The scientific content and perspectives of the articles are presented in the abstracts of each article. Here, on the basis of my own subjective assessment, I will present some broader societal perspectives presented in the eight contributions.

I will start with Hansen, Lind, and Møller's commentary. All three authors have extensively studied Nordic labor market systems for decades. Based on a brief presentation of the Danish unemployment benefit system and the challenges facing this system, a proposal is presented for a new system that will be less bureaucratic, not only still giving unemployed support for getting into work, but also having certain similarities with current proposals for basic income, making a life without work an opportunity.

Grönlund presents in her article data that deeply question widespread ideas about what causes gender inequality at the labor market. There is a widespread assumption, both in scientific and in the wider public, that gender inequalities largely are related to women's own strategies at the labor market. Women are choosing to pursue skills and career strategies that allow for high priority of family responsibilities. By studying selected employment groups at the labor market, Grönlund can however document that women's career orientation does not differ from men's. Wages, and career development for women is not related to their family responsibilities. The difference in pay and career for men and women must therefore be found somewhere else than in women's family commitment.

The discussion about precarious working conditions, characterized by temporary employment conditions, has a prominent position in the public debate. Berglund, Håkonsson, Isidorsson and Alfonsson contribute to this debate, first by presenting how temporary employment has evolved in Sweden over a number of years. In addition, the relationship between temporary employment and later stable employment is analyzed over a long period of time. The authors find that the effect of temporary work on longterm employment depends on the types of temporary employment involved. Certain types of temporary employment thus seem to be used by the employer to screen the employability of the employee, while others are used for achieving flexibility. …

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