Vulnerability and Resilience at the Edge of the Danish Labour Market

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Investigating the working life experiences of a group of men posed at the edges of the Danish labour market, this article analyses the attitudes and practices these men embrace to cope with various challenges encountered in their locality. The men whose working life histories are discussed in the article have two things in common: they live at the northern shore of Denmark in an area marked by high levels of unemployment, low levels of education and gradual depopulation. And they have found (temporary) work in connection with the (at the time) two most spectacular symbols of the success of an emergent offshore sector in the region, namely the upgrading and overhauling of the two jack-up rigs ‘Mærsk Guardian’ and ‘Mærsk Giant’ which took place in the town of Hirtshals in 2011 and 2012. Picking out two working life trajectories for closer analysis, the paper discusses how labour market vulnerabilities are perceived and constructed, and how corresponding resilience practices are developed. Theoretically, the paper argues that spatial categories enrich the analysis, and that including geographical distances, local and personal histories and material/physical aspects of ‘place’ in analyses of work mobility, enhances the understanding of how labour market vulnerability and resilience is experienced and met.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1828
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business and Economics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • space
  • place
  • vulnerability
  • resilience
  • volatile labour markets


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