Skip to main content
 Karel Musílek

Karel Musílek

Lecturer in Sociology of Work and Economic Life

Cardiff Business School

Email
musilekk@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0059
Campuses
Room C01, Aberconway Building, Colum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Overview

I am a sociologist of work and economic life. I draw on literature from Sociology, Social Theory and Organisation Studies. My research asks how human life is shaped by capitalist societies, what life is made to be, and how life is sustained in its “productive” form. This involves exploring how individuals are understood and how they understand themselves, what practices they draw on to sustain their working and economic lives, and what are the costs of living with contemporary social, economic and organisational pressures. All these issues have a strong ethical dimension and are related to the question of what is a life worth living. Theoretically, my biggest source of inspiration is Foucault, by I welcome theoretical eclecticism and my sources include Marxism, Feminism and other traditions of social theory.

I am a lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation. Before joining Cardiff University, I completed a PhD in Sociology at Durham University, Certificate in Social Research Methods at Durham University, MSc in Political Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and BA in Political Science and International Relations at Masaryk University. My PhD was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Biography

I am a lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation. Before joining Cardiff University, I completed a PhD in Sociology at Durham University, Certificate in Social Research Methods at Durham University, MSc in Political Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and BA in Political Science and International Relations at Masaryk University. My PhD was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Honours and awards

  • 2006. British Sociological Association Postgraduate Regional Event Fund. Funding secured for the organisation of postgraduate event ‘What and How of Critique: Styles, Issues and Confrontations in Critical Social Theory and Research’.
  • 2015-2019. Economic and Social Research Council, The Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Program. 3.5 Scholarship.
  • 2009-2010. Scholarship for the Best Student in the Study Programme. Postgraduate programme of Political Science. Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University.
  • 2009. Scholarship of the Statutory City of Opava. Scholarship awarded by the mayor of Opava to students with excellent study results.
  • 2008. Arnošt Inocenc Bláha Scholarship Award. Winner in the category of Political Science and International Relations. Awarded by Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University.

Professional memberships

Member of the British Sociological Association

Academic positions

  • ESRC/NineDTP PhD in Sociology and Organisation Studies Durham University 3.5 Scholarship, October 2015 – June 2019 Thesis: Making life work: Work and Life in Coliving Submitted, Supervisors: Dr Kimberly Jamie (Sociology, Durham University), Professor Mark Learmonth (Durham University Business School)
  • Durham University Learning and Teaching Award, Durham University October 2016 – September 2017
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Social Research Methods, Durham University October 2015 – March 2016 Awarded with Distinction
  • MSc Political Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science 2011 – 2012 Awarded with Merit
  • Mgr. (MA equivalent) Political Science, Masaryk University 2008-2011 Awarded with Honours
  • Study Exchange, Department of Political Science and Department of Sociology, University of Toronto 2009-2010
  • Bc. (BA equivalent) Political Science, Masaryk University 2005-2008

Speaking engagements

  • 2019 ‘Making life work: Building life around entrepreneurial work’. Centre for Organisation and Society Seminar Series, Durham University Business School.
  • 2018 ‘Making life work: How is life shaped by work?’. John Snow College Seminar Series, Durham University.
  • 2018 ‘Obedience and misbehaviour in the neoliberal workplace’. Teach out session during 2018 USS strike organised by the Department of Sociology, Durham University.
  • 2017 ‘Work as a “Way of Living”: Subjectivity and Work in Colivings’. Organisational Behaviour, Theory and Technology Group Seminar Series at York University Management School.

Publications

2020

2015

2008

My research asks how human life is shaped by capitalist societies, what life is made to be, and how life is sustained in its “productive” form. This involves exploring how individuals are understood and how they understand themselves, what practices they draw on to sustain their working and economic lives, and what are the costs of living with contemporary social, economic and organisational pressures. Theoretically, my biggest source of inspiration is Foucault, but I welcome theoretical eclecticism and my sources include Marxism, Feminism (especially Nancy Fraser) and other traditions of social theory.

I am keen on developing my interest in methodology, epistemology and ontology of social research. The methods I have used include ethnography, interviews, and discourse analysis.

Research Themes and Interests:
Work-Life Relation
Work-Life Practices
Work-Life Boundaries and Integratoin
Politics of Social Reproduction
Everyday Life
Power
Subjectivity
Ethics
Affect

Supervision

I am able to supervise PhD dissertations that focus on themes from the sociology of work and economic life, social theory, critical management studies, and organisation studies. Concepts I like to work with are everyday life, identity and subjectivity, power, ethics, and affect (but I am happy for postgraduate researchers to choose different themes and concepts). I am particularly interested in supervising postgraduate researchers who want to focus on:

  • Practices that individuals, groups and organisations use to manage their lives, including personal and domestic life, in relation to work and economic pressures (e.g. mindfulness techniques and applications, time-management, outsourcing, obligatory leisure, wellbeing programmes)
  • Power
  • Contemporary ideologies/discourses/justifications/ethic of work and economic life (e.g. entrepreneurship discourse)
  • Issues of work-life relationship (balance, colonisation, reproduction, wellbeing) and arrangements of working lives (e.g. coliving, co-housing, work in non-traditional workspaces).

I believe in methodological and epistemological pluralism in social research and I see engagement in debates in methodology and epistemology as crucial for successful inquiry. Methods I have used include ethnography, interviewes and discourse analysis.