Inner Voice of Capitalism: "Everything Is Temporary for the Sake of My Existence."

By Özpinar, Sansel; Aldemir, Necdet Coskun | Economics & Sociology, July 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Inner Voice of Capitalism: "Everything Is Temporary for the Sake of My Existence."


Özpinar, Sansel, Aldemir, Necdet Coskun, Economics & Sociology


ABSTRACT. The main purpose of this study1 is to explain the parallelism of transformation in labour market and social transformation with the concept of "temporariness" which is frequently used both in society and in economy. The central argument it is put forward in this article is that in this stage of capitalism, every technical policy change in economy brings transformation of social structure and reshapes interpersonal relations and system of values. Consequently, the contemporary global economy which is significantly based on temporariness not only forces individuals and society as a whole to adapt to fundamental economic changes, but gives also rise to a considerable number of social and psychological troubles.

JEL Classification : J01, J08, J21, J28, Z13

Keywords: Temporariness, Flexibilisation, Social Transformation, Labour Economics Policies, Labour Force and Employment, Safety and Job Satisfaction, Economic Sociology

Introduction

The concept of temporariness in the current stage of capitalism comes to the forefront as one of the principal features which is raising its effectiveness both in economic and in social sense. Neoliberal economy policies which has been put into practice under the leadership of Reagan and Thatcher in the 1980s; did not remain only as an alteration economy policy with automation technologies and flexible manufacture models occurred in manufacture processes, but influenced social life deeply in the sense of consequences brought by it as well.

The most important and heavy field where economy and societal intersect is labour market. It is because the labour here, contrary to other manufacture factors, is a living being which is alive, mobile, has feelings and thoughts. On the other hand, employment is one of the most important conditions of social inclusion. In this sense, it is possible to state that new forms of employment which occurred with the flexibility of labour market put cultural modes of society through a new positioning. Regarding the labour only as a factor of financial manufacture and focusing on the maximization of profit to be obtained cause objectification of labour; in the last instance this leads to the subjection of all the dimensions of social life to the rules of economy. Therefore, the relationship between today's social life and economic processes is much more closely related to each other than ever before.

On this basis, concepts of temporariness and permanence will be mentioned in the first section of study; the process of flexibilisation in labour markets will be discussed in the sense of types of new employment which are created by this process and finally transformations formed in the social field by this process will be explained on the basis of temporariness.

The Term Temporariness

The state of being temporary is a feature frequently referred to in the 21st century. Temporariness, one of the most important concepts used to explain the transformations in the economic and social structure, is also a fact that embraces every field of our being and daily experiences (for an early diagnosis see Bennis and Slater, 1968; and lately see Bauman, 2000).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of temporariness is "the state or quality of lasting only for a short time." The concept of temporary is defined as "intended to last, continue, or serve for a limited time;" "lasting only for a short time;" "serving in a position for the time being." The opposite of temporariness is permanence, which means "the quality or state of being permanent." The concept of permanent is defined as "continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change." All these definitions actually indicate that whether it is to do with usage or to do with its meaning, everything associated to the term temporariness is that it has a short lifespan. Such meaning gives rise to a suggestion such as, if everything is temporary, nothing has any value in the long-term. …

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