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Durham University

Research & business

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Karel Musilek

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My doctoral research develops a theme of ‘Making Life Work’. Firstly, I am interested in how is life made to work in the sense of being inserted into the logic of production. Secondly, I ask what the social structures that make life work in the sense of maintaining it and preventing it from falling apart are.

My research is situated within the sociology of work and organisation studies and has been substantively focused on the reconfiguration of practices of personal and domestic life in relation to work. I explored this issue through an ethnographic study of ‘coliving’ - a purpose-built accommodation for professionals and entrepreneurs - which strives to create conditions most conducive to professional success.

My research interests include work-life practices, work-life boundaries and integration, personal attachment to work and economy, tech and creative industries, politics of social reproduction, everyday life, power, subjectivity, ethics, affect, and entrepreneurship.


I am a PhD researcher at the Department of Sociology at Durham University. I have completed 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 is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Journal Articles:

  • Musílek, K., Jamie, K., McKie, L. (2019) “Cold Winds and Warm Attachments: Interrogating the Personal Attachment to Neoliberal Work and Economy.” Work, Employment and Society.
  • Musílek, K., Katrňák, T. (2015). “The notion of Class in the Czech Political Discourse.” Czech Sociological Review 51, 3, 387-417.
  • Musílek, K., (2008). “The Transition to Democracy in South Korea: Theoretical Analysis with the Emphasis on the Role of the Mass Mobilization in the Process of the Transition.” (In Czech) Czech Journal of Political Science 15, 4, 338-358.

Chapters and Entries in Edited Collections:

  • Jamie, K., Musílek, K. (2019) "The Gig Economy", Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology (2nd Edition). Forthcoming.
  • Musílek, K. (2015). “Nurturing the Worker’s Self: The Ethic of Authenticity in The Discourse of Professional Self-Development.” In: Ivković M, Pudar Daško G, and Prodanović S (eds.), Engaging Foucault, Belgrade: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, pp. 22–36.

Conference Presentations:

  • 2019 ‘What cuts through and what holds it together? Understanding work-life beyond boundaries.’ British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • 2018 ‘Coliving as Work-Life Integration Strategy. How Entrepreneurial Work Shapes Life.’ Work, Employment and Society Conference, Europa Hotel, Belfast.
  • 2018 ‘When Work Itself Goes to Life: Life-Work in Coliving.’ Organizational Discourse Conference. Cass Business School. City, University of London.
  • 2018 ‘Capitalist Existentialism as a Space for/of Critique?’ British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Northumbria University.
  • 2017 ‘Entrepreneurs and Communards. Coliving as an Entrepreneurial Commune.’ International Critical Management Studies Conference, Edge Hill University, Liverpool.
  • 2017 ‘Cold Monsters, Warm Attachments. Interrogating the Personal Attachment to Neoliberal Work and Economy’. British Sociological Association Annual Conference. The University of Manchester.
  • 2016 ‘Work as a Way of Living. Reflecting on Coliving as New Development in Work-Life Integration’. Work, Employment and Society Conference. University of Leeds.
  • 2014 ‘Nurturing the Worker’s Self: The Ethic of Authenticity in the Contemporary Discourse of Professional Development’. Engaging Foucault Conference. University of Belgrade.

Teaching Areas

  • Sociology of Work and Professions – Seminar Leader

  • Sociology of Work and Professions – Guest Lecturer
  • Perspectives on Social Research - Seminar Leader
  • Contemporary Issues in Management Research - Guest Lecturer

Is supervised by