WORK2013 – Continuities and Disruptions in Modern Life

The First International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work 21-23 August 2013, Finland


The First International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work in Turku, Finland was a successful intellectual endeavor. It was hosted by University of Turku and Turku Centre for Labour Studies, TCLS . The conference valorized the vast field of research on work from different disciplinary perspectives. The conference programme brought together researchers with four exellent keynote sessions and sessions with 160 presentations, all of which offered excellent platforms for fruitful discussions. The social programme concisted of invitation reception by the City of Turku and medieval dinner at the Castle of Turku. Thanks to all participants and sponsors.

Anne Kovalainen, chair

The theme of the conference, Work – Continuities and Disruptions in Modern Life invited research papers and presentations on the many aspects of work, working life and work systems. The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds interested in any aspects of the work and working life.

The current profound global crises are inevitably changing work, working life and modern life in general in ways that are yet to be explored. In addition to the present global economic crisis and its effects, there are also other aspects of work that call for attention: individual attachments to work and working life patterns are changing, global and national companies and corporations adjust, redefine and transfer jobs, competencies and capabilities anew, and many other recontourings of the work, its contents and conditions are taking place.

The blurring of the boundaries between factory, office and home life, public sector and private sector is enabled by several new technologies, policies and new knowledge intensive jobs. New technologies help, enable and shape the work and working life, but also demand new skills and competencies of its users. The work and working life are in constant change globally with shifting power balance between economies and continents. The shift from education to work is crucial for the individual, companies and nation-states.

The wellbeing at work has arisen in importance in all Western countries due to many reasons. The ageing population especially in Europe and demand for increase in productivity put pressure on individuals in their work career extensions and on companies for policing the extensions. New policies targeted to working life at supranational and national levels have risen in importance, giving work and working life new importance as a crucial part of the welfare systems.