1st Edition

Precariat: Labour, Work and Politics

ISBN 9781138803206
Published October 29, 2014 by Routledge
196 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

In his recent work, Guy Standing has identified a new class which has emerged from neo-liberal restructuring with, he argues, the revolutionary potential to change the world: the precariat. This, according to Standing, is ‘a class-in-the-making, internally divided into angry and bitter factions’ consisting of ‘a multitude of insecure people, living bits-and-pieces lives, in and out of short-term jobs, without a narrative of occupational development, including millions of frustrated educated youth…, millions of women abused in oppressive labour, growing numbers of criminalised tagged for life, millions being categorised as "disabled" and migrants in their hundreds of millions around the world. They are denizens; they have a more restricted range of social, cultural, political and economic rights than citizens around them’. This present book explores the nature, shape and context of precariat, evaluating the internal consistency and applications of the concept. Demonstrating the sheer breadth and depth of application, the chapters cover a wide-range of topics, from the relationships between precariat and authoritarianism, multitude (another concept to achieve popular consciousness), and place as well as the nature of precarious identities and subjectivities among those working in immaterial labour. The book concludes with a reply by Standing to reviews of Precariat.

This book was published as a special issue of Global Discourse.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The precariat  Matthew Johnson

2. Authoritarianism and the precariat  Bill Jordan

Reply by Daryl Glaser

3. From the precariat to the multitude  Ben Trott

Reply by Timothy S. Murphy

4. Breaking the heartland: creating the precariat in the US lower rust belt  Joseph J. Varga

Reply by Angela Wigger

5. Precarity of place: a complement to the growing precariat literature  Susan Banki

Reply by Wanda Vrasti

6. Precarious work, entrepreneurial mindset and sense of place: female strategies in insecure labour markets  Hanna-Mari Ikonen

Reply by Jeremy Morris

7. The precariousnesses of young knowledge workers: a subject-oriented approach  Emiliana Armano and Annalisa Murgia

Reply by Nancy Ettlinger

8. Precarious subjectivities are not for sale: the loss of the measurability of labour for performing arts workers  Mauro Turrini and Federico Chicchi

Reply by Heather McLean

9. Book Review Symposium: The Down-Deep Delight of Democracy, By Mark Purcell


Mark Edward


Stuart Elden


Ian Buchanan

Managing ourselves

Mark Purcell

10. Book Review Symposium: The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, By Guy Standing


Catherine Lawlor


Jörg Wiegratz


Jo Grady

Where’s Howard?

Guy Standing

11. Conclusion: The precariat, intergenerational justice and universal basic income  Juliana Bidadanure

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Matthew Johnson is a Lecturer and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Lancaster. He is interested in the evaluation of culture and the effect of forms of intervention on wellbeing. He has authored Evaluting Culture (Palgrave) and edited The Legacy of Marxism (Continuum).