Northwestern University

Fri 12:00 PM

The Legal Construction of Precarity: Lessons from the Construction Sector in Beijing and Delhi

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, October 6, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Iszy Licht   847.467.2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


Even as labor is increasingly characterized by precarity in the 21st century, the imprecision of conceptual tools and analytical vocabularies hinders the study of precarious labor. Irene Pang will disentangle the concepts of “precarity” and “informality” to better understand the different genealogies and varieties of precarity, and importantly, to examine the role of the state in its construction and reproduction. Using two cases of labor disputes within the construction sectors in Beijing and Delhi, in which precarious labor conditions are rampant, she examines how precarity is structured and reproduced by the state through the law.

Irene Pang is a Buffett Institute Postdoctoral Fellow who received her PhD at Brown University and studies issues of citizenship and rights contestation in China and India. Her dissertation provides a comparative ethnographic account of the citizenship struggles of internal migrant construction workers in Beijing and Delhi. Pang's broader research interests include development and sociology of the Global South, labor, dynamics of capitalism, and comparative research. 

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided. Due to space constraints, we will not admit attendees once the space reaches capacity.

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