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Disciplined AgencyNeoliberal Precarity, Generational Dispossession and Call Centre Labour in Portugal$
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Patrícia Alves de Matos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134981

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134998

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Call centres as icons of precarity: between emancipation and stigma

Call centres as icons of precarity: between emancipation and stigma

(p.38) 3 Call centres as icons of precarity: between emancipation and stigma
Disciplined Agency

Patrícia Alves de Matos

Manchester University Press

Chapter three examines further the theme of unfulfilled generational expectations for those working in call centres by exploring how call centre work came to assume the iconic role of the main symbol of precarity in Portugal. A brief discussion is offered on the emergence of the precarity terminology and its associated category of the precariat in the context of European social movements of struggle and activism. This provides the reader with a general view of the phenomenon of precarious work and its particular form of development in Portugal. In the remainder of the chapter the analysis focuses on the politicisation of the sector, demonstrating how became the symbol par excellence of insecure employment in Portugal. In contrast to perspectives that have emphasised either the novel or the structural character of the condition of precarity, this chapter stresses that in Portugal the moral, political and ideological discourses in which the categories of precarity, precarious labour and the precariat are embedded can be a source of both emancipation and stigma.

Keywords:   precarity, precariat, call centres, emancipation, stigma, Portugal

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