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(Remote) work and Covid: mobility, safety, and health at the time of the pandemic

18. Juni – 19. Juni 2021 

Indi­vidu­elles Textfeld

A two-day con­fer­ence organ­ised by Tallinn Anthro­pol­o­gy and EASA Anthro­pol­o­gy of Labour net­work is look­ing for con­tri­bu­tions on how the glob­al pan­dem­ic is chang­ing labor

across the world

Where and how work is done has changed dur­ing the COVID pan­dem­ic. This work­shop focus­es on two inter­re­lat­ed aspects: (remote) work and mobil­i­ties and their impact on work-relat­ed safe­ty and health.

Covid-induced remote work has cre­at­ed new mobil­i­ty pat­terns and is chang­ing the notions of the work­place and of remote­ness. At the same time, it has raised ques­tions about who can work remote­ly and under which con­di­tions. Pan­dem­ic-time work­ing arrange­ments which are cre­at­ing new flex­i­bil­i­ty for some work­ers are instead requir­ing more flex­i­bil­i­ty from others.

Reor­gan­i­sa­tion of the labour process and the labour mar­ket dur­ing the pan­dem­ic raise new ques­tions about job-relat­ed safe­ty and health issues in the widest sense of the term. Covid has brought along job and income inse­cu­ri­ties, pre­car­i­ty and unem­ploy­ment. Remote work, work-relat­ed migra­tion, mobil­i­ty or the impos­si­bil­i­ty of it has had a deep impact on work­ers’ men­tal and phys­i­cal health, well-being and safe­ty. These devel­op­ments point to larg­er issues regard­ing the future of work, and to new divi­sions in whose work is val­ued and/or val­orised and whose health is deemed important.

We are par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in ethno­graph­ic explo­rations of what are the chang­ing work­ing arrange­ments due to Covid and how they have impact­ed men­tal and phys­i­cal health, per­cep­tions of dan­ger and well-being. Ques­tions can include but are not lim­it­ed to:
· How have dif­fer­ent modes and expec­ta­tions of remote work impact­ed people’s work practices?

· What are/were the nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly accept­ed or nego­ti­at­ed clas­si­fi­ca­tions and expe­ri­ences of those doing ‚essen­tial’ or ‚key’ work and who were not able to work remote­ly (in the hos­pi­tals, fac­to­ries and super­mar­kets) dur­ing the Covid pandemic?

· How have inter­sec­tion­al inequal­i­ties as gender/race/class/age/disability impact­ed on the expe­ri­ence of work­ing (remote­ly) dur­ing Covid?

· What are/were the pub­lic dis­cours­es about par­tic­u­lar pro­fes­sions, social class­es and their work as poten­tial agents of spread­ing or stop­ping viruses?

· What hap­pens to infor­mal and/or invis­i­ble labor under pan­dem­ic restric­tions, and what new kinds of risks are surfacing?

· How have con­cepts of labour migra­tion and geographic/social mobil­i­ty trans­formed or con­sol­i­dat­ed since the out­break of the pandemic?

We are hop­ing to have up to 15 par­tic­i­pants phys­i­cal­ly trav­el­ling to Tallinn but the event will be designed in a hybrid mode to enable those par­tic­i­pants who can­not trav­el to join. Trav­el costs for par­tic­i­pants with­in Europe will be cov­ered by the Eston­ian Research Coun­cil PUT 1263 and Tallinn Uni­ver­si­ty School of Humanities.

Eeva Kesküla, Mariya Ivanche­va and Dan Vesalainen Hirslund

Please send your queries and your abstracts to Eeva Kesküla ( by 1st of April