PhD student at Interface Demography, Department of Sociology
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Jessie Gevaert is currently working on her PhD at Interface Demography (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Her PhD investigates the quality of work and employment of European self-employed persons, and their health and well-being. She is also involved in the European Union's Horizon 2020 project, 'EMPOWER', about the development of an eHealth platform to reduce health problems in the workplace, as well as in a BRAIN-BE 2.0. project, 'SEAD', about sustainable employment in the age of digitalisation.
Purpose The ideal-typical entrepreneur presents him/herself in the neoliberal iconography as an autonomous and pro-active individual who is highly engaged with his/her vocation. Nevertheless, empirical research on the actual work engagement of the self-employed is scarce. In addition, phenomena like “necessity self-employment” and “economically dep...
In recent decades, labor markets of high-income countries such as Belgium, have been subject to a process of de-standardization. This meant that the number of people with standard, full-time jobs was decreasing while at the same time there was an increase in de-standardized jobs. De-standardized jobs are often associated with adverse health and wel...
In this study, the authors investigate the health associations of different employment arrangements in the contemporary European labor market. In doing so, a new approach based on the concept of “employment quality” is introduced. Employment quality refers to the multiple dimensions characterizing the employment situation of wage- and self-employed...
SOCIOLOGOS - In het begin van de 21ste eeuw, is het standaard tewerkstellingsmodel niet langer de enige vorm om arbeid te organiseren, maar is er een enorme verscheidenheid aan tewerkstellingsarrangementen voor zowel werknemers als zelfstandigen. Het is echter onduidelijk welke gezondheidsimplicaties deze tewerkstellingsarrangementen hebben. In dit...
This technical report contains an in-depth analysis of employment status in the European Union. Our main objective is to study the relations between employment status and workers’ job quality and quality of working life. We identify seven employment status categories: indefinite contracts, fixed-term contracts of longer than one year, fixed-term co...
Although many governments actively stimulate self-employment, their work-related mental well-being remains understudied. The aim of current study is to investigate the mental well-being of different types of self-employed, testing whether mental well-being differences among self-employed are explained by the presence of work characteristics that ar...
Recently, governments increasingly encourage workers to incarnate the ideal of the entrepreneurial self – i.e. to live a professional life in accordance with a heroic depiction of ‘the entrepreneur’, which is presumed to lead to personal and professional success. This new work orientation coincides with post-Fordist socio-economic reforms and the rise of neo-liberalism. On the labour market, these socio-economic reforms often imply a structural transformation of previously stable, well-protected collective employment relations into more individualized employment relations, often involving flexible or non-standard forms of employment. Increasingly, self-employment has become such a flexibility strategy, which allow employers to benefit from ‘on-demand specialized skills’ without bearing the financial risk of wage-employment. Solo self-employment (i.e. self-employed without employees) especially has become an interesting group within these transformations, showing to be both an example of dynamic, economic growth and positive labour market effects, and an example of precarious work and a lack of secure dependent jobs in the labour market. In addition, the degree of pervasiveness of all above-mentioned transformations and self-employment presenting itself as a viable flexibility option also depend on local institutional regulatory configurations or entrepreneurial ecosystems (i.e. socio-cultural, institutional and material conditions influencing the self-employed at country-level). Based on all of the above, the objective of this PhD-research becomes two-fold: 1) I aim to address psychosocial job quality as the main focus for seeking explanations in health/well-being differences among the self-employed in Europe, and in comparison, with wage earners. 2) I aim to understand the mental well-being of solo self-employed in specific, by revealing narratives of expectations and lived experiences related to entrepreneurship. To meet the objectives of this study, I will apply a mixed-methods approach. On one hand, hypotheses regarding the relations between individual-level psychosocial job quality, country-level entrepreneurial climate and health outcomes will be tested in a uniquely-suited cross-national database (European Working Conditions Survey, 2015), providing plenty of information on self-employment. On the other hand, I will reveal narratives of expectations and actual lived experiences by applying an ethnographic, longitudinal research design based on data collection through participant observation, repeated in-depth interviews, and diary entries. http://interfacedemography.be/project/phd-jessie-gevaert/