Non-standard work: Who wins? Theoretical-methodological analysis of the approaches to the study of non-standard employment

Cover Page


The article considers main approaches to the study of non-standard labor relations. Based on the conceptual model proposed by C. Rakowski, three approaches to the analysis of non-standard labor relations are presented: structuralist, neo-Marxist, and legalist. The author identifies methodological limitations and heuristic potential of these approaches, and using statistical and sociological data claims that non-standard labor relations are widespread in Russia (from 32 to 59 million people). The article presents different estimates of non-standard labor relations: some authors focus on their advantages, others - on disadvantages depending on the ideological positions and the object of analysis. The author insists on the methodological confusion in the study of non-standard labor relations in the legalist approach which combines informal economy with non-standard employment, making it difficult to consider beneficiaries and ‘victims’ of the emerging system. According to the studies, the benefits of non-standard labor relations are typical for entrepreneurs, while disadvantages - for employees. The author proposes to distinguish employees from non-standard labor relations and entrepreneurs in the informal economy, which allows to combine all concepts of non-standard labor relations and to identify winners and losers of such relations. The article also mentions reasons for the growth of non-standard labor relations: globalization, automatization of labor, changes of labor values, and social policy - under the evolution of capitalism as a historical system.

About the authors

R. I. Anisimov

Russian State University for Humanities

Author for correspondence.
Miusskaya Pl., 6, Moscow, Russia, 125993


  1. Bauman Z. Idet li bogatstvo nemnogih na polzu vsekh prochih? [Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All?]. Moscow; 2015 (in Russ.).
  2. Biriukov A. Poyavlenie prekariata ili vozvrashchenie proletariata? [Emergence of precariat or return of proletariat?]. Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniya. 2015; 10 (In Russ.).
  3. Wallerstein I. Istorichesky kapitalizm. [Historical Capitalism]. Moscow; 2014 (In Russ.).
  4. Collins R. Sredny klass bez raboty: vykhody zakryvayutsya [Middle class without work: Exits closed]. Est li buduschee u kapitalizma? Moscow; 2015 (In Russ.).
  5. Creveld M. van. Rasczvet i upadok gosudarstva [The Rise and Decline of the State]. Moscow; 2006 (In Russ.).
  6. Pink D. Natsiya svobodnykh agentov. Kak novye nezavisimye rabotniki menyayut zhizn Ameriki [Nation of Free Agents. How New Independent Workers Change the Life of America]. Moscow; 2005 (In Russ.).
  7. Polanyi K. Velikaya transformatsiya: politicheskie i ekonomicheskie istoki nashego vremeni [The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time]. Saint Peterburg; 2002 (In Russ.).
  8. Rabochaya sila, zanyatost i bezrabotitsa v Rossii (po rezultatam vyborochnykh obsledovanij rabochej sily) [Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment in Russia (based on the sample labor force surveys)]. Moscow; 2018 (In Russ.).
  9. Rakowski C.A. Konvergentsiya i divergentsiya v debatakh latinoamerikanistov o neformalnom sektore [Convergence and divergence in the Latin American debate on the informal sector]. Ekonomicheskaja Teorija Prestuplenij i Nakazanij. 2000; 2 (In Russ.).
  10. Rossijsky monitoring ekonomicheskogo polozheniya i zdoroviya naseleniya NIU-VShE (RLMS-HSE) [Russian monitoring of the economic situation and public health by the HSE (RLMS-HSE)].; (In Russ.).
  11. Rossijsky statistichesky ezhegodnik [Russian Statistical Yearbook]. Moscow: 2017 (In Russ.).
  12. Standing G. Prekariat: novy opasny klass [The Precariat. The New Dangerous Class]. Moscow; 2014 (In Russ.).
  13. Fedchenko A.A., Kolesnikova O.A., Dashkova Ye.S., Dorokhova N.V. Neformalnaya zanyatost: teoreticheskie osnovy, issledovanie, prognoz [Informal Employment: Theoretical Foundations, Research, Forecast]. Voronezh; 2016 (In Russ.).
  14. Florida R. Kreativny klass. Lyudi, kotorye sozdayut buduschee [The Creative Class. People Who Create the Future]. Moscow; 2016 (In Russ.).



Abstract - 595

PDF (Russian) - 429




Copyright (c) 2019 Anisimov R.I.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies