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Flexible Wissensarbeit: AlleindienstleisterInnen zwischen Privileg und Prekarität

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  • Betzelt, Sigrid
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    Abstract

    Flexible Wissensarbeit in Form hoch qualifizierter selbständiger Beschäftigung stellt in der Bundesrepublik einen relativ neuen Erwerbstypus dar, der im Dienstleistungssektor auf Expansionskurs ist. Der Beitrag stellt zentrale Ergebnisse einer empirischen Untersuchung im exemplarischen Feld ausgewählter Kulturberufe vor, die als Trendsetter für die neuere selbständige Erwerbsform des Alleindienstleisters gelten können. Gezeigt wird, dass nicht nur deren objektive Erwerbsstrukturen von bekannten Mustern abweichen, da sie - bei vergleichsweise schwacher Geschlechtersegregation - den hoch Qualifizierten nur relativ bescheidene Einkommen unter risikoreichen Erwerbsbedingungen bieten. Besonderheiten zeigen sich auch in den individuellen subjektiven Orientierungen und Handlungsstrategien. Diese subjektiven Faktoren, so das Kernargument dieses Beitrags, ermöglichen erst das Funktionieren des flexiblen Erwerbsmodells. Auf der Basis starker intrinsischer Motivationen und eines dominant wertrationalen Berufsverständnisses entwickeln die individuellen Akteure in reflexiver Weise Handlungsmuster im Umgang mit den marktradikalen Bedingungen, die eine mehr oder minder gelungene Balance zwischen individuellen Freiheitsgraden und marktlichen Restriktionen ermöglichen. Dabei ergeben sich für Männer wie Frauen überwiegend kontinuierliche, wenngleich komplexe Erwerbsbiographien jenseits herkömmlicher Karrierepfade. Diese qualitativ gewonnenen empirischen Befunde werden im Hinblick auf theoretische Konzepte der Arbeits-, Berufs- und Professionssoziologie sowie der sozialen Ungleichheit diskutiert. Abschließend wird aufgezeigt, dass das Erwerbsmuster flexibler Wissensarbeit besonders aufgrund der fragilen individuellen und kollektiven Risikostrategien durchaus institutionellen Handlungsbedarf aufwirft. -- Flexible knowledge-based work of highly-skilled self-employed workers is a comparatively new employment pattern in Germany that is expanding in the services sector. The paper presents the main results of an empirical study in the exemplary field of cultural professions which can be seen as trendsetters for this type of single person self-employment. The findings show that not only the ‘objective’ employment structures deviate from known patterns as they are – with only weak gender-segregations – characterized by low incomes for highly-skilled professionals and risky market conditions without state-regulation. Also the ‘subjective’ individual orientations and occupational strategies are of special quality. It is particularly these ‘subjective’ factors, so the argument of this paper, that make this specific employment model work. On the grounds of strong intrinsic motivations and primarily value rational professional orientations, the individual actors develop action patterns that more or less allow to balance individual freedom and restrictions of the market. These strong individual resources typically lead to continuous though complex work histories beyond traditional career paths. These results of ‘qualitative’ research are discussed with regard to theoretical concepts of the sociology of work, professions, and social inequality. At the end it is shown that due to the fragile individual and collective risk strategies the pattern of flexible knowledge-based work implies several needs for institutional action.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS) in its series Working papers of the ZeS with number 03/2006.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeswps:032006

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    Cited by:
    1. Boegenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2007. "Renaissance of Entrepreneurship? Some remarks and empirical evidence for Germany," MPRA Paper 3186, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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