On the move: Issues of mobility, identity, privatisation, autonomy and career for urban bus drivers

RA Lincoln, Yolande Huntingdon

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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There has been an increasing focus on the concept of mobility in contemporary workplaces due to enhanced access
to technology and mobile devices (Cohen 2010). Yet, one ignored occupational group, where mobility is essentialised
and where there are limited spatial and temporal choices, is bus drivers. Their work conditions, including being
compartmentalised and adhering to tight time schedules lead to high stress levels and poor physical and mental
health outcomes (Tse 2006).
This paper reports findings from part of a year-long, federally funded study of urban bus drivers in Australia. The
overarching project takes a criminological perspective as it is examining the nature and extent of aggression against
drivers with the view to evaluating crime prevention options (protective screens, changes to cash-handling, better
design of emergency buttons).
Qualitative data from a number of focus groups and interviews have yielded novel findings about the role of bus
drivers (especially in a privatised or contracted-out marketplace); raised issues about identity of drivers (and how they
are perceived publicly) and highlighted a raft of vulnerabilities that drivers face on a daily basis. The data also reveal
that drivers express high levels of satisfaction with their job, feel as if they do experience some autonomy and enjoy
the customer relations aspects of driving a route.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventBSA Work, Employment and Society Conference 2013 - University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20135 Sept 2013


ConferenceBSA Work, Employment and Society Conference 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe British Sociological Association and the Work, Employment and Society Editorial Board are pleased to announce that the WES Conference 2013 will be hosted by the University of Warwick. Like the journal, the conference is sociologically oriented, but welcomes contributions from related fields.

The conference has an international focus and comes at a critical time for the study of work. Over the few last years, unprecedented state intervention in the economy and subsequent radical reform plans for the public sector and the welfare state have raised new questions on the ways work is socially regulated: the WES 2013 conference will bring together sociologists of work from across the globe to assess the evidence and consider the theoretical implications of changing relations between work, society and the state.

Confirmed Speakers:

Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

Han Dongfang (China Labour Bulletin)

Ruth Milkman (CUNY)
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