Matos, Patrícia

 Researcher, PhD

Patrícia Matos studied social anthropology at FCSH, New University of Lisbon, and at Goldsmiths, University of London. Based on an extended case-study in the Portuguese call centre sector, Patrícia’s doctoral thesis – entitled ‘Precarious Labour in Portuguese Call Centres: An Anthropological Study’ – addresses broader themes, such as: a) the links between global shifts, illustrated by the increased ‘normalization’ and institutionalization of labour casualization (i.e. precarity) on both sides of the Atlantic, and the historically situated, context-bonded and contingent nature of neoliberal economic restructuring processes – as represented in the Portuguese context in increasing feelings of downward social mobility, generational dispossession (i.e. ‘the lost generation’ effect) and middle class precariousness among the emergent call centre precariat – and, b) the nature of value-creation in service production regimes and emerging forms of commodification of the labouring subject in the neoliberal service economy. In 2011 Patrícia was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), having as a host institution the Centre for Research in Social Anthropology (CRIA) based at the New University of Lisbon. Her post-doc project examined the themes of neoliberalism, unemployment and the changing shape of the welfare state since the 1970s to the austerity crisis in contemporary Portugal. Her current project – Towards a Grassroots Economy of Welfare. Crisis, Unemployment and Livelihoods in Austerity Portugal – proposes to explore the grounded economic responses and regimes of meaning, value and morality mobilized by households and individuals confronting the austerity crisis, as they struggle to establish a ‘grassroots economy of welfare’.

Her most recent publications and reports include:

(2014) “Gender commodification and precarity in Portuguese call centres: the (re)production of inequality’ in Etnográfica, 18 (1): 5-32; (2012) “Call center labor and the injured precariat: shame, stigma, and downward social mobility in contemporary Portugal” in Dialectical Anthropology, 36 (3): 217-243; (under review), “Challenging Hardt and Negri’s ‘Immeasurability’: the commodification of human agency in call centre labour”, Critique of Anthropology; (2014) “Neoliberalismo, Reconfiguração do Estado-Providência e Desemprego no Portugal Contemporâneo” (Neoliberalism, Reconfiguration of the Welfare State and Unemployment in Contemporary Portugal), Post-Doc Fellowship Extended Report submitted to the Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (unpublished ms; 112 pages)