The focus of the study is on the conflicting processes that take place on the level of social collectives of work and work-related identities. The main aim of the study is to analyse, what kinds of gendered values, norms and interaction practices create, promote, and prohibit trust relations in working life. The project is a part of Academy of Finland research Programme on Social Capital and Networks of Trust (2004-2008)
The main research questions of the study are the following: 1) What are the ways in which gendering practices promote and prohibit trust relations in work? 2) What kinds of aspects of social capital promote and prohibit the emergence of conflicts and their solution in work; and 3) What kinds of aspects of social capital promote women's and men's commitment in different instances of work?
The theoretical starting points are gendering practices, conflicting processes, ethnography and narratives. Gender is understood as an integral part of work cultures, social collectives of work and customer relations. Instead of the number of women and men, the focus is on the gendered interaction patterns, images and self-definitions or identities that contribute to producing and reproducing conflicts and inequalities. We assume that conflicting processes and trust are by no means exclusionary matters in work communities. Quite contrary, people are bound together more by conflicts than by agreement. Ethnography and narratives provide a basis to empirically study the relationships between gendering practices and conflicting processes in regard to work communities and identities of people.
The empirical study reflects the ongoing changing trends in working life. The case study organizations represent female and male dominated workplaces or firms, which are under fundamental restructuring processes (jobs in electronics). In addition, they represent quite new trends of organizing work (small care-giving firms and call centres). The existing data consists of a survey, interviews and observations. New data is collected through observations and interviews. Furthermore, entrepreneur autobiographies are collected.
Academically, the results of the study intend to be published in international journals and as an anthology written for an international publisher. In addition, two doctoral dissertations are included in the research outline. Socially and politically, careful empirical analyses of gendering practices within the context of social capital are useful in gender mainstreaming and in gender impact analysis.
Päivi Korvajärvi, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Women's Studies (paivi.korvajarvi (at)uta.fi) leader in charge of the project. "Gendering Social Capital and Trust Relations in Work"
Kirsi Hasanen, M. Soc. Sc., doctoral student, researcher, Department of Women's Studies. (kirsi.hasanen(at)uta.fi). "Women's Entrepreuneurship and its Future in the Care Services"
Tuija Koivunen, M. Soc. Sc., doctoral student, researcher, Department of Women's Studies (tuija.koivunen(at)uta.fi) "Workers' Commitment in Call Centre Work"
Antti Saloniemi, Ph.D., Professor, Work Research Centre and Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pori (antti.saloniemi(at)uta.fi) "Creating Trust Relations and Social Capital under Constant Reorganization in Work. The Case of Jobs in Electronics"