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New book examines precarious margins of today's labour markets

New book examines precarious margins of today's labour markets

York political science Professor Leah Vosko, Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy, explores the precarious margins of contemporary labour markets in her new book, Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship, and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment, being launched tomorrow.

The book looks at how over the last few decades there has been much discussion of a shift from full-time permanent jobs to higher levels of part-time and temporary employment and self-employment, and the result that despite such attention, regulatory approaches have not adapted accordingly. Instead, in the absence of genuine alternatives, old regulatory models are applied to new labour market realities, leaving the most precarious forms of employment intact.

The book places this disjuncture in historical context and focuses on its implications for workers most likely to be at the margins, particularly women and migrants, using illustrations from Australia, the United States and Canada, as well as member states of the European Union.

Managing the Margins provides a rigorous analysis of national and international regulatory approaches, drawing on original and extensive qualitative and quantitative material. It analyzes the historical and contemporary interplay of employment norms, gender relations and citizenship boundaries.

Vosko is also the author of Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship (University of Toronto Press, 2000), editor of Precarious Employment: Understanding Labour Market Insecurity in Canada (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006), and co-author of Self-Employed Workers Organize: Law, Policy, and Unions (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005).

She is currently overseeing the Comparative Perspectives Database, a multi-year collaborative international research project on comparative perspectives on precarious employment linked to the Gender & Work Database project.

The launch for Managing the Margins (Oxford University Press, 2010) will take place Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30pm at The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick Ave. at Bloor Street in Toronto. The launch will feature remarks by Deena Ladd of Workers’ Action Centre, Professor Kiran Mirchandani of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and Laurell Ritchie of the Canadian Auto Workers union, as well as a performance by jazz musicians Kye Marshall and Dan Ionescu and a display of photographic artworks by Susana Reisman.

Everyone is welcome to attend the launch. For more information, contact Gowry Siva, research project administrator in the Office of the Dean in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, at ext. 33962 or

Republished courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.