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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Temporary topics : critical interpretations of the temporary work industry Sparke, Matthew


In this thesis I critically examine the temporary work industry. I draw on a variety of materials including academic and journalistic writing, as, well as extensive interviews with temps and counsellors in Vancouver. Having begun by discussing the politics of my ethnography, I proceed to analyse the implications of how temping displaces and bears witness to the representation of labour as value in capitalism. I then interrogate how the equally "material" politics of gender serve to reproduce temping. Finally, in the last chapter, I make a set of arguments about how the industry intersects with the discourses of rationality operating in the disciplinary, legislative and unionised organisational regimes of modern employment.

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