ERI selected projects: the garments industry, ageing population, and dentistry

This seminar is part of the ERI’s Seminar Series

Time and Place
Wednesday 11 October 2017, 1pm-2pm
Classroom 3/10, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus

Professor Robert Raeside (and Professor Kaberi Gayen)
Dr Valerie Egdell
Dr Gavin Maclean and Vanesa Fuertes

Social change – Development or Exploitation: The Case of Working in the Ready Made Garments Industry in Bangladesh – Professor Robert Raeside (and Professor Kaberi Gayen)
The ready-garments industry has grown and is growing at an astonishing pace accounting for over 14% of the GDP of Bangladesh and employing more than four million people most of whom are women. The majority of the female employees come from rural subsistence backgrounds and are young with low levels of education. Ripe for exploitation and abuse. Evidence from a survey of over 1000 females employees show that they are exploited and abused yet many report to be happy with their lives at least satisfied with work and are optimistic about the future. The female employees are not accepting of their condition and have become activists demanding better conditions and higher wages but more so they are perhaps at the forefront and promoters of social change in Bangladesh questioning the gender power imbalance of Bangladeshi society. Ongoing research into this will be discussed in this seminar.

The Ageing Population and Employers in Scotland – Dr Valerie Egdell 
Increasing numbers of older workers (those aged 50 plus) are remaining in work as a result of population ageing, the abolishment of the Default Retirement Age and the rising state pension age in the UK. In this presentation Valerie will present key findings from research on employer responses to population ageing in Scotland. In particular, she will consider the specific set of issues encountered by small and medium sized enterprises.

Working in healthcare: dentistry and the corruption of practices – Dr Gavin Maclean and Vanesa Fuertes
Dental work represents an exemplary form of ‘body work’ (Cohen, 2011). Previous research has considered dental work in terms of ‘knights’ and ‘knaves’, drawing a distinction between behaviour motivated by healthcare and those motivated by money and entrepreneurship (Taylor-Gooby et al. 2000). Based on 30 biographical/narrative interviews with dentists active within the profession in Scotland, this paper draws on labour process theory and Alastair MacIntyre’s virtue ethics, and his notions of practice, internal goods and external goods. The central argument of the paper is that the current organisation of dentistry is leading to a corruption of dental practice by increasing pressures over external goods – particularly in relation to the current economic context of austerity.

The seminar is free to attend. Please RSVP Dr Gavin Maclean (

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