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The commencement of global financial crisis in 2008 signalled a significant increase in both precarious employment and unemployment. Traditionally, both unemployment and unstable employment have been perceived as an ‘illness’ that needs to be overcome both personally and socially. And yet, in developed labour markets, work patterns are becoming increasingly fragmented, pushing employment vulnerability and its organizational and social consequences to higher levels. Clearly, the landscape of work, employment and organization is rapidly changing across the world. As the recent events in Southern Europe have indicated, employment vulnerability can lead to a wide range of negative individual, social and organizational consequences. At the same time, however, newly formed groups of un(der)employed seem to be responding in novel ways to the vulnerability of employment; developing new organizing possibilities starting from global protest movements to local community support arrangements. These new forms of organizing (and the new socio-economic conditions within which these forms are becoming embedded) are expanding our understanding of work, employment and the process of organizing. With our HARD(ly) WORK(ing) stories project we would like to explore the implications of this changing landscape for individuals, organizations, and for the social struggles they engage with in an attempt to find alternatives. We would like to go beyond the grand narrative of ‘the global financial crisis’ and explore the micro-stories and narratives of those affected. Because for many of us it is HARD WORK to find a job or simply to maintain it; while others who would like nothing more than to be able to WORK HARD are HARDly WORKing. We want to hear your story.

The commencement of global financial crisis in 2008 signalled a significant increase in both precarious employment and unemployment. Traditionally, both unemployment and unstable employment have been perceived as an ‘illness’ that needs to be overcome both personally and socially. And yet, in developed labour markets, work patterns are becoming increasingly fragmented, pushing employment vulnerability and its organizational and social consequences to higher levels.Clearly, the landscape of work, employment and organization is rapidly changing across the world. As the recent events in Southern Europe have indicated, employment vulnerability can lead to a wide range of negative individual, social and organizational consequences. At the same time, however, newly formed groups of un(der)employed seem to be responding in novel ways to the vulnerability of employment; developing new organizing possibilities starting from global protest movements to local community support arrangements. These new forms of organizing (and the new socio-economic conditions within which these forms are becoming embedded) are expanding our understanding of work, employment and the process of organizing.With our HARD(ly) WORK(ing) stories project we would like to explore the implications of this changing landscape for individuals, organizations, and for the social struggles they engage with in an attempt to find alternatives. We would like to go beyond the grand narrative of ‘the global financial crisis’ and explore the micro-stories and narratives of those affected.Because for many of us it is HARD WORK to find a job or simply to maintain it; while others who would like nothing more than to be able to WORK HARD are HARDly WORKing. We want to hear your story.