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Paid in sunsets: a seasonal working life

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Overwork is a long documented social problem in the United States linked to an abundance of negative outcomes. Typically this issue has been addressed organizationally at the individual level or

Overwork is a long documented social problem in the United States linked to an abundance of negative outcomes. Typically this issue has been addressed organizationally at the individual level or socially as an economic structural problem. While both approaches are valid in their own ways, missing from these angles is an approach to overwork from an individual perspective. This study explores overwork from the perspective of seasonal workers in Glacier National Park who typically work for the National Park Service five months and spend the rest of the year recreating. Using qualitative interviews and observations, this piece investigates a seasonal mentality towards work in terms of agency and trust, conceptions and practices of work and life, and in terms of embodiment and spirituality. Grounded theory methods were used to develop an axiomatic analysis which informs a poetic and narrative expression of findings in concert to the discussion and implications of the study. The findings of this study illustrate how seasonal workers present a fascinating alternative to traditional work arrangements in a capitalist system. They possess a unique approach to work and life that foregrounds life experience, freedom, and process as opposed to material goods or stability. They tend to approach work and life as an integrated and holistic pursuit as opposed to a segregated and problematic enterprise. And they tend to approach their work as an embodied and spiritual craft as opposed to something accomplished quickly and efficiently for the economic benefit of the organization. Implications of this research suggest that agency and trust maintain a deeply interconnected and dialectical relationship which agents navigate as they build towards ontological security; that re-conceptualizing work-life as "life first" has potential for fundamentally reshaping the ways life (and work) get experienced; and that divisions between minds and bodies as they have been typically structured between white and blue collar work might be interrupted via the inclusion of the human spirit at work. These findings interrupt common practices of overwork in different ways but primarily function as a reminder that ways of thinking coincide with ways of living and working.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The consequences of male seasonal migration for women left behind: the case of rural Armenia

Description

Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former

Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former Soviet Union, that have undergone vast demographic changes in the last two decades. Using cross-sectional data from two surveys conducted in Armenia in 2005 and 2007, this dissertation is exploring the effects of seasonal migration on reproductive behavior and outcomes, as well as sexual health among women left-behind. The dissertation is constructed of three independent studies that combined draw the broad picture of the consequences of seasonal migration in this part of the world. The first study, "Seasonal migration and fertility in low-fertility areas of origin" looks at the effect of seasonal migration on yearly pregnancy rates, lifetime fertility, and fertility preferences among women and their husbands. The models are fitted using discrete-time logistic regression, and random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes, correspondingly. The findings show that seasonal migration in low-fertility settings does not further disrupt fertility levels in a short-, or long-run, contradicting to the findings from high-fertility settings. However, the study provides some evidence that seasonal migration is associated with increased fertility preferences among migrant men. The second study, "Seasonal migration and contraception among women left-behind", examines the associations between migration and modern contraceptive use, by looking at current contraceptive use and the history of abortions. A series of random-intercept logistic regression models reveal that women with migrant partners are significantly less likely to use modern contraceptives, than women married to non-migrants. They also have higher rates of abortions; however this effect is moderated by the socioeconomic status of the household. The third study, "Seasonal migration and risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women left-behind", looks at the effects of seasonal migration on the diagnosed STDs in the last three years, and self reported STD-like symptoms in the last twelve months. The results of random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes provide strong evidence of increased STD risks among migrants' wives; however, this effect is also moderated by the household income.

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Date Created
  • 2011