New worker: between precariousness, over-working and stress (2002)

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Many of those who started working in 2000 will have worked around 100,000 hours, provided they have a working life of 35 years. Before 1900, a 65-year-old man had worked 220,000 hours in his life; a person born in 1935 had worked “only” 95,000 hours. In 1972, on the other hand, working life of just 40,000 hours was envisaged: the product of 33 years of activity, 12 weeks’ holiday per year and 28 working hours per week. A promise far from being realised.

The data contained in the Eurispes study highlight an absolute inversion of the trend in the labour market, which takes the form of the compression of free time and the increasing pervasiveness and intrusiveness of work. People are working more and thinking more often about work and are moving towards a substantial mixture of free time and time dedicated to the company, invading the former. This is a softer version of the 24-hour availability to which, among others, the help-desk and a whole series of workers who are always on call to deal with emergencies are forced. Therefore, we are faced with forms of overwork whose concept, in the Eurispes study, is considered in terms of the number of hours worked in the medium and long time.

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Index

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Employment in postmodern capitalism
Super work: between dependence, exploitation and instrumentality
Between autonomy and isolation: the overwork of the teleworker
Psycho-physiological risks of overwork stress
Conclusions

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Introduzione

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H24: people are working more and moving towards a substantial mixture of free and working time

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