New forms of work : new occupational identities
This essay looks at the impacts of the restructuring of global value chains on skills, occupational identities, class position and class consciousness. The codification of tacit knowledge and standardisation of work processes are both preconditions for restructuring and triggers of further restructuring. This leads to a modularisation of skills and work processes enabling them to be reconfigured spatially and contractually and results in a fracturing of traditional occupational identities. The resulting difficulty in pinning down stable occupational descriptions is illustrated from the work of the STILE project on occupational classification in an international comparative perspective. The paper then draws on qualitative research among workers involved in telemediated employment carried out as part of the EMERGENCE and WORKS projects in order to tease out what this means for individual perceptions of occupational and class identity.