Labour market transitions in policy and in everyday life: living the lean life

Rie Thomsen, Pia Cort

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


In a time where transitions between jobs and in and out of the labour market are likely to become more frequent the way we conceptualise and experience ‘ transitions’ becomes equally important. In EU policy, Denmark is often referred to as a model country in terms of the flexicurity model and its aim of securing unemployed people through financial support and access to training and competence development during redundancies i.e. during transitional phases in a working life. Hereby the flexicurity model ensures both a flexible labour market and a flexible and adaptable workforce. However, since the 1990s focus in the employment policy has shifted gradually and introduced the ideas of activation and the duty of the unemployed to pursue employment. Unemployment has been individualized as a problem and focus has moved from upskilling to rapid re-integration into the labour market, hereby conceptualizing transitions as un-wanted and at the best something which could be minimized and made smooth through the right activation measures of primarily sticks and less carrots. This presentation investigates transitions from the perspective of the citizens and present the result of an analysis of 21 narrative interviews with employed or newly un-employed Danish citizens between the age of 35 and 45. The analysis points to a conceptualization of transitions in the political discourse based on assumptions of transitions as wasteful and in need of lean and time management in order to be minimized. This discourse has effect on the micro level where at the same time citizens are struggling to make radical changes to their working life. Changes that could be supported by recognizing pauses as productive and in line with the ideas and values that flexicurity was built
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedLife Designing and Career Counseling: Building Hope and Resilience - University of Padova, Padova, Italien
Varighed: 19. jun. 201322. jul. 2013


KonferenceLife Designing and Career Counseling
LokationUniversity of Padova


Thomsen, R., & Cort, P. (2013). Labour market transitions in policy and in everyday life: living the lean life. Abstract fra Life Designing and Career Counseling, Padova, Italien.