Work in the Time of COVID-19: A Panel Study on Precarious Workers October 2020

Awarded Scholars:
Alexandrea Ravenelle, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Project Date:
Oct 2020
Award Amount:

Precarious work includes temporary, contract-based, and involuntary part-time work. It is often insecure, provides limited economic and social benefits, and is covered by few labor law or regulatory protections. Sociologist Alexandrea Ravenelle will examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession on the social, physical, and economic well-being of precarious workers both during the outbreak and in subsequent years. RSF funds will be used for the third phase of a mixed-methods panel study that utilizes in-depth virtual interviews and online surveys with precarious and gig workers in New York City.  Beginning in Spring 2021 and lasting for one year, the study will focus on the intermediate impacts of the pandemic on workers emotionally, financially, and socially, and on their families and life chances. Ravenelle will address these questions: How are precarious workers jobs weighing and addressing the health risks of working versus the economic repercussions of unemployment? To what extent do they take pride in being seen as essential workers and to what extent do they resent providing access to food, medicine, etc. for those with higher incomes working from home? Have the pandemic and recession affected their views of the desirability of freelance or gig-based work? How have they affected their careers and life chances? The results will be disseminated in a book manuscript among other The data will be archived and made public via the UNC Dataverse archive hosted by the Odum Institute.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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