Precariat – What it Is and Isn’t – Towards an Understanding of What it Does

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Guy Standing’s description of the precariat in his 2011 book has revitalized the debate on what the precariat is, and what it is not. Although the book faced criticism from labour studies, Marxist approaches and others, it opened up a new discussion of precarity under neoliberal capitalism. This article draws on understandings that link the notion of the precariat (and processes of precarization) to practices and investigates links between immigration and precarity. It argues that the analysis of what precarity is should be supplemented by an inquiry into what it does. Precarity is here understood as a mode for analysing economy and for rethinking heterogeneous identities and group formations. The article uses two cases, Lampedusa in Hamburg 2013–2015 and the “Freedom Not Frontex” action in June 2014, to illustrate how processes of precarization play out in everyday life situations and the economic, legal and social system for immigrants.
TidsskriftCritical Sociology
Udgave nummer7-8
Sider (fra-til)959-974
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 26 okt. 2016