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Historicizing Precarious Work: Forty Years of Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities

  • Eloisa Betti (a1)
Abstract

This survey article seeks to contribute to the understanding of the concepts of precarious work and precarization in the history of industrial capitalism by addressing the debate in the social sciences and humanities over the past forty years. Based on a gendered global approach, this article aims to offer a critique of the Global North-centric perspective, which largely conceives precarious work as a new phenomenon lacking a longer historical tradition. The first part discusses the multiple origins, definitions, and conceptualizations of “precarious work” elaborated with regard to industrial as well as post-industrial capitalism, taking into account selected contemporary sources as well as studies conducted by historians and social scientists. In the second part, the influence of different approaches, such as the feminist and post-colonial ones, in globalizing and gendering the precarious work debate is examined in their historical contexts, exploring also the crucial nexus of precarious work and informal work. In the conclusion, the limitations of the available literature are discussed, along with suggestions for further directions in historicizing precarious work from a global perspective.

TRANSLATED ABSTRACTS FRENCH – GERMAN – SPANISH

Eloisa Betti. En historicisant le travail précaire: quarante ans de recherche dans les sciences sociales et humaines.

Cette enquête tente de contribuer à la compréhension des concepts de travail précaire et de précarisation dans l’histoire du capitalisme industriel, en examinant le débat dans les sciences sociales et humaines durant les quarante dernières années. Sur la base d’une approche globale de genre, l’article entend proposer une critique de la perspective globale nordique, qui conçoit en grande partie le travail précaire comme un nouveau phénomène dépourvu d’une assez longue tradition historique. La première partie examine les multiples origines, définitions et conceptualisations du “travail précaire” élaborées à propos du capitalisme industriel et post-industriel, en tenant compte de sources contemporaines sélectionnées et d’études conduites par des historiens et spécialistes des sciences sociales. Dans la seconde partie, l’influence de diverses approches, telles que les approches féministes et post-coloniales, mondialisant et générisant le débat sur le travail précaire, sont examinées dans leur contexte historique, tout en étudiant également le lien crucial du travail précaire et du travail informel. En conclusion, les limitations de la littérature disponible sont examinées et assorties de suggestions d’orientations ultérieures pour historiciser le travail précaire dans une perspective globale.

Traduction: Christine Plard

Eloisa Betti. Historisierung der prekären Arbeit: Vierzig Jahre sozial- und geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung.

Dieser Überblicksartikel soll einen Beitrag zum Verständnis der Begriffe der prekären Arbeit sowie der Prekarisierung innerhalb der Geschichte des Industriekapitalismus leisten, indem er sich mit der innerhalb der Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften während der letzten vierzig Jahre geführten Debatte auseinandersetzt. Ausgehend von einem gendersensiblen, globalen Ansatz zielt der Artikel auf die Formulierung einer Kritik jener auf den globalen Norden zentrierten Perspektive, die prekäre Arbeit weitgehend als neues Phänomen ohne weiter zurückreichende historische Tradition auffasst. Im ersten Teil werden die vielfachen Ursprünge, Definitionen und Konzeptualisierungen der »prekären Arbeit« diskutiert, und das in Hinblick sowohl auf den Industrie- als auch auf den postindustriellen Kapitalismus. Dabei werden ausgewählte zeitgenössische Quellen ebenso berücksichtigt wie von Historikern und Sozialwissenschaftlern vorgelegte Studien. Im zweiten Teil wird der Einfluss verschiedener Ansätze, etwa des feministischen und des postkolonialen, untersucht. Es wird, unter Berücksichtigung des jeweiligen historischen Kontexts, die Frage erörtert, wie solche Ansätze die Debatte um prekäre Arbeit für Genderthemen geöffnet und globalisiert haben. Dabei wird auch dem Zusammenhang von prekärer und informeller Arbeit nachgegangen, der von ausschlaggebender Bedeutung ist. Im Schlussteil werden die Defizite der vorliegenden Literatur diskutiert; außerdem werden Vorschläge unterbreitet, wie die prekäre Arbeit noch weitgehender und aus globaler Perspektive zu historisieren wäre.

Übersetzung: Max Henninger

Eloisa Betti. Historizando el trabajo precario: Cuarenta años de investigación en las ciencias sociales y las humanidades.

Este artículo tiene por objetivo el contribuir a la comprensión de los conceptos de trabajo precario y precarización a lo largo de la historia del capitalismo industrial abordando el debate habido en las ciencias sociales y las humanidades a lo largo de los últimos cuarenta años. Basado en una aproximación global de género el texto trata de ofrecer una crítica de la perspectiva global nor-céntrica que concibe fundamentalmente el trabajo precario como un fenómeno nuevo que carece una tradición histórica más longeva. En la primera parte se plantean los múltiples orígenes, definiciones y conceptualizaciones del “trabajo precario” que se han elaborado en función tanto del capitalismo industrial como del post-industrial, tomando en cuenta una selección de fuentes contemporáneas y de estudios desarrollados por historiadores/as y científicos/as sociales. En la segunda parte analizamos la influencia de las diferentes perspectivas en los debates suscitados, tales como el feminismo y los estudios post-coloniales a la hora de globalizar e introducir una perspectiva de género en referencia a la cuestión del trabajo precario. Todo ello prestando atención a los contextos históricos en los que se plantean y explorando también los nexos de interrelación existentes entre el trabajo precario y el trabajo informal. A modo de conclusión, se plantean las limitaciones de la literatura disponible y se elaboran sugerencias para trazar futuras direcciones a la hora de historizar el trabajo precario desde una perspectiva global.

Traducción: Vicent Sanz Rozalén

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This article has benefited from a European Institute of Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences of Vienna, supported by the European Commission, Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions – COFUND Programme – FP7. I wish to thank the following scholars for their comments and suggestions on the previous versions of this article: Sara Bernard, Luisa Bialasiewicz, Aad Blok, Eileen Boris, Christian De Vito, Ella Klik, János M. Kovács, Steven Lukes, David Mayer, Shalini Randeria. Please note that a bibliography with full references is included at the end of this article.

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References
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5. Precarious work, capitalism, and globalization
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6. Precarious work, flexibility, flexicurity
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Barbieri, P., “Flexible Employment and Inequality in Europe”, European Sociological Review, 25 (2009), pp. 621–628.
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Boudier, A., “New Forms of Employment and Their Use in the Employment Policies of the Member States of the European Community”, International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 5 (1989), pp. 1–16.
Boyer, R. and E. Wolleb (eds), La flexibilité du travail en Europe (Paris, 1986).
Broughton, A. and I. Biletta Kullander, Flexible Forms of Work: ‘Very Atypical’ Contractual Arrangements (Dublin, 2010).
Bruegel, I. and A. Hegewisch, “Flexibilization and Part-Time Work in Europe”, in P. Brown and R. Crompton (eds), Economic Restructuring and Social Exclusion: A New Europe? (London, 1994), pp. 33–57.
Burrows, R., N. Gilbert, and A. Pollert (eds), Fordism and Flexibility: Divisions and Change, (London, 1992).
Caire, G., “Précarisation des emplois et régulation du marché du travail”, Sociologie du Travail, 2 (1982), pp. 135–158.
Cazes, S. and A. Nesporova (eds), Flexicurity: A Relevant Approach in Central and Eastern Europe (Geneva, 2007).
D. Grip, A., J. Hoevenberg, and E. Willems, “Atypical Employment in the European Union”, International Labour Review, 136 (1997), pp. 49–71.
D. Vos, M., “European Flexicurity and Globalization: A Critical Perspective,” The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 25 (2009), pp. 209–235.
European Commission, Flexibility and Competitiveness: Labour Market Flexibility, Innovation and Organisational Performance (FLEX-COM), Final Report (Brussels, 2005).
European Commission, Modernising Labour Law to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century, COM(2006)708final (Brussels, 2006).
European Commission, Towards Common Principles of Flexicurity. More and Better Jobs Through Flexibility and Security (Luxembourg, 2007).
European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions, “Varieties of Flexicurity: Reflections on Key Elements of Flexibility and Security”, Background Paper, (Dublin, 2007).
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), “The Flexicurity Debate and the Challenges for the Trade Union Movement”, Brussels, 2007.
Evans, S. and R. Lewis, “Deregulating Labour Markets and Industrial Relations in British and U.S. Construction”, International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 4 (1988/89), pp. 248–262.
Gallino, L., Il costo umano della flessibilità (Rome-Bari, 2001).
Garibaldo, F. (ed.), Flessibili o marginali? Le nuove forme di lavoro in Italia e in Europa (Rome, 1992).
Hepple, B.A., “Some Problems of Comparing Socialist and Capitalist Systems of Labour Law”, International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 1 (1985), pp. 235–240.
Heyes, J., “Flexicurity in Crisis: European Labour Market Policies in a Time of Austerity”, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 19 (2013), pp. 71–86.
Ivanov, S.A., “Hiring and Dismissal under Soviet Labour Law”, International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 3 (1987), pp. 97–108.
Keune, M., Bargaining for Social Rights (BARSORI): Trade Union Responses to Precarious Work, Overview Report, European Commission, 2010, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y9oh5ban; last accessed 7 May 2018.
Koshiro, K., Employment Security and Labor Market Flexibility. An International Perspective (Detroit, MI, 1992).
Madsen, P.K., “The Danish Model of Flexicurity: Experiences and Lessons”, Transfer, 10 (2004), pp. 187–207.
Meulders, D. and B. Tytgat, “Atypical Employment in EEC Countries”, The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 5 (1989), pp. 61–81.
Meulders, D. and L. Wilkin, “Labour Market Flexibility: Critical Introduction to an Analysis of a Concept”, Labor and Society, 12 (1987), pp. 3–17.
Muffels, R., Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe. Labour Markets in Transition, (Cheltenham, 2008).
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Salmieri, L., “Job Insecurity, Flexibility and Home-Work Balance for Italian Couples in Non-standard Work: The Effects of Social Class”, European Review, 17 (2009), pp. 93–120.
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Standing, G., Global Labour Flexibility: Seeking Distributive Justice (London, 1999).
Standing, G., “Labour Flexibility: Cause or Cure for Unemployment?”, Public Lecture No. 25, International Institute for Labour Studies, Geneva, 1986.
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Trif, A., A. Koukiadaki, and M. Kahancová, The Rise of the Dual Labour Market: Fighting Precarious Employment in the New Member States Through Industrial Relations (PRECARIR), European Commission, 2016, available at: https://goo.gl/1t6GsB; last accessed 7 May 2018.
Tros, F., “Flexicurity in Europe: Can it Survive a Double Crisis?”, Proceedings of the 16th ILERA World Congress: Beyond Borders: Governance of Work in a Global Economy (Philadelphia, PA, 2012).
Van der Veen, R., M. Yerkes, and P. Achterberg (eds), The Transformation of Solidarity: Changing Risks and the Future of the Welfare State (Amsterdam, 2012).
Veitch, K. and T. Kotkas (eds), Social Rights in the Welfare State: Origins and Transformations (London, 2016).
Wedderburn, B., “Deregulation and Labour Law in Britain and Western Europe”, The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 4 (1988/89), pp. 191–205.
Wilthagen, T., “Flexicurity: A New Paradigm for Labour Market Policy Reform?”, Social Science Research Center Berlin, Discussion Paper No. FS I 198–202, Berlin, 1998.
Wilthagen, T., Flexicurity Practices, (Brussels, 2007).
Wilthagen, T. and R. Rogowski, “The Legal Regulation of Transitional Labour Markets” in G. Schmid and B. Grazier (eds), The Dynamics of Full Employment (Cheltenham, 2002), pp. 233–273.
7. Precarious work, gender, and feminism
Altieri, G., “‘New economy’, lavori ‘atipici’ e conseguenze di genere”, Il diritto del mercato del lavoro, 2 (2001), pp. 251–261.
Alves de Matos. P., “Gender Commodification and Precarity in Portuguese Call Centres: The (Re)Production of Inequality”, Etnográfica, 18 (2014), pp. 5–32.
Aulenbacher, B., B. Riegraf, and S. Völker, Feministische Kapitalismuskritik. Einstiege in bedeutende Forschungsfelder (Münster, 2015).
Bonfiglioli, C., “Gender, Labour and Precarity in the South East European Periphery: The Case of Textile Workers in Štip”, Contemporary Southeastern Europe, 1 (2014), pp. 7–23.
Boris, E. and L. Dodson, “Working at Living: The Social Relations of Precarity”, University of California at Santa Barbara, Department of Feminist Studies, 2013, available at: https://goo.gl/NJWyMV; last accessed 7 May 2018.
Bruni, A. and G. Selmi, “Da San Precario a WonderQueer. Rappresentazioni di genere nell’attivismo precario italiano”, Studi Culturali, 3 (2010), pp. 365–384.
Chan, S. and D. Tweedie, “Precarious Work and Reproductive Insecurity”, Social Alternatives, 34 (2015), pp. 5–13.
Censis (ed.), L’impatto della flessibilità sui percorsi di carriera delle donne (Milan, 2000).
Cole, A. and V. Hattam, “What Works?”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 45 (2017), pp. 15–33.
Constable, N., “Migrant Motherhood, ‘Failed Migration’, and the Gendered Risks of Precarious Labour”, TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, 3 (2015), pp. 135–151.
Dawkins, N., “Do-It-Yourself: The Precarious Work and Postfeminist Politics of Handmaking (in) Detroit”, Utopian Studies, 22 (2011), pp. 261–284.
D. Cori, P., “Comparing Different Generations of Feminists: Precariousness versus Corporations?”, Feminist Review, 87 (2007), pp. 136–140.
European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Gender, Skills and Precarious Work in the EU (Vilnius, 2017).
El-Tayeb, F., “Making Do: Survival Strategies under Precarity”, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2013.
Fantone, L. (ed.), Genere e precarietà (Naples, 2011).
Fantone, L., “Precarious Changes: Gender and Generational Politics in Contemporary Italy”, Feminist Review, 87 (2007), pp. 5–20.
Federici, S., “Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint”, In the Middle of a Whirlwind (2014), available at: https://goo.gl/LLSmhH; last accessed 7 May 2018.
Figart, D. and E. Mutari, “Global Feminization and Flexible Labour Markets: Gendered Discourse in the Opposition to Pay Equity Reform”, in J. Gregory, R. Sales, and A. Hegewisch (eds), Women, Work and Inequality: The Challenge of Equal Pay in a Deregulated Labour Market (Houndmills and London, 1999), pp. 44–57.
Fink, D. et al. (eds), Prekarität und Freiheit? Feministische Wissenschaft, Kulturkritik und Selbst-organisation (Münster, 2013).
Fudge, J. and R. Owen (eds), Precarious Work, Women and the New Economy: The Challenge to Legal Norms (Oxford, 2006).
Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, E., “The Precarity of Feminisation: On Domestic Work, Heteronormativity and the Coloniality of Labour”, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 2 (2014), pp. 191–202.
Gutierrez-Rodriguez, E., Migration, Domestic Work and Affect: A Decolonial Approach on Value and the Feminization of Labor (New York and London, 2010).
Hatcher, J. and T.L.N. Tu, “‘Make What You Love’: Homework, the Handmade, and the Precarity of the Maker Movement”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 45 (2017), pp. 271–286.
Hatton, E., The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America (Philadelphia, PA, 2011).
Hellgren Z., “Markets, Regimes, and the Role of Stakeholders: Explaining Precariousness of Migrant Domestic/Care Workers in Different Institutional Frameworks”, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, 22 (2015), pp. 220–241.
Hill, S., “Precarity in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 45 (2017), pp. 94–109.
Hobson, B. and L. Bede, “Precariousness and Capabilities: Migrant Care/Domestic Workers in Two Institutional Contexts”, Teorija in Praksa, 52 (2015), pp. 327–349.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Living with Economic Insecurity: Women in Precarious Work (Brussels, 2011).
Komlosy, A., “Work and Labour Relations”, in J. Kocka and M. van der Linden (eds), Capitalism: The Re-Emergence of a Historical Concept (London, 2016), pp. 33–69.
Lindtner, S., “Laboratory of the Precarious: Prototyping Entrepreneurial Living in Shen-zhen”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 45 (2017), pp. 287–305.
Lorey, I., State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious (London and New York, 2015).
Mayer-Ahuja, N., “Three Worlds of Cleaning: Women’s Experiences of Precarious Labor in the Public Sector, Cleaning Companies and Private Households of West Germany, 1973–1998”, Journal of Women’s History, 16 (2004), pp. 116–141.
Mitropoulos, A., “Precari-Us?”, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, March 2005, available at: http://eipcp.net/transversal/0704/mitropoulos/en; last accessed 7 May 2018.
Morini, C., Per amore o per forza. Femminilizzazione del lavoro e biopolitiche del corpo (Verona, 2010).
Nannicini, A., Le parole per farlo. Donne al lavoro nel post-fordismo (Rome, 2002).
Precarias a la Deriva, A la deriva por los circuitos de la precariedad femenina (Madrid, 2004).
Puar, J. (ed.), “Precarity Talk, A Virtual Roundtable with Laurent Berlant, Judith Butler, Bojana Cvejić, Isabell Lorey, Jasbir Puar, and Ana Vujanović”, The Drama Review, 56 (2012), pp. 163–177.
Vosko, L.F., Managing the Margin: Gender, Citizenship and International Regulation of Precarious Employment (Oxford, 2010).
Vosko, L.F., Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship (Toronto, 2000).
8. Precarious work, informality, and free/unfree labour
Agarwala, R. and J.J. Chun, “Global Labour Politics in Informal and Precarious Jobs”, in S. Edgell, H. Gottfried, and E. Granter (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Sociology of Work and Employment (New York, 2015), pp. 634–650.
Agarwala, R., Informal Labor, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent in India (New York, 2013).
Amin, S. and M. van der Linden (eds), “Peripheral Labour. Studies in the History of Partial Proletarianization”, International Review of Social History, 41: Supplement 4 (1996).
Andrees, B. and P. Belser (eds), Forced Labor: Coercion and Exploitation in the Private Economy (Geneva 2009).
Arnold, D. and J.R. Bongiovi, “Precarious, Informalizing, and Flexible Work: Transforming Concepts and Understandings”, American Behavorial Scientist, 57 (2013), pp. 289–308.
Bales, K., Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (Berkeley, CA, 1999).
Barchiesi, F., “Informality and Casualization as Challenges to South Africa’s Industrial Unionism: Manufacturing Workers in the East Rand/Ekurhuleni Region in the 1990s”, African Studies Quarterly, 11 (2010), pp. 67–85.
Benjamin, P., “The Persistence of Unfree Labour: The Rise of Temporary Employment Agencies in South Africa and Namibia”, in J. Fudge and K. Strauss (eds), Temporary Work, Agencies, and Unfree Labour: Insecurity in the New World of Work (London and New York, 2013), pp. 118–142.
Bhattacharya, S. and J. Lucassen (eds), Workers in the Informal Sector. Studies in Labour History 1800–2000, (New Delhi, 2005).
Boels, D., The Informal Economy: Seasonal Work, Street Selling and Sex Work (Cham, 2016).
Brass, T., Labour Regime Change in the Twenty-First Century. Unfreedom, Capitalism and Primitive Accumulation (Amsterdam, 2011).
Breman, J., At Work in the Informal Economy of India. A Perspective from the Bottom Up (Oxford, 2013).
Breman, J., Circulation and Informalization of the Workforce at the Bottom of the Economy (Oxford, 2010).
Breman, J., Footloose Labour: Working in India’s Informal Economy (Cambridge, 1996).
Burchielli, R., Delaney, A., and N. Goren, “Garment Homework in Argentina: Drawing Together the Threads of Informal and Precarious Work”, Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25 (2014), pp. 63–80.
Carré, F., R. Negrete, Vanek J., “Relating Quality of Employment to Informal Employment”, WIEGO Working Paper, 5 (2016), available at: http://www.wiego.org/wiego/wiego-working-paper-series, last accessed 7 May 2018.
Chalhoub, S., “The Precariousness of Freedom in a Slave Society (Brazil in the Nineteenth Century)”, International Review of Social History, 56 (2011), pp. 405–439.
Chang, D., “Informalising Labour in Asia’s Global Factory, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 39 (2009), pp. 161–179.
Chen, M.A., “The Informal Economy: Definitions, Theories and Policies”, WIEGO Working Paper, 1 (2012), available at: http://www.wiego.org/wiego/wiego-working-paper-series, last accessed 7 May 2018.
Das, V. and S. Randeria, “Politics and the Urban Poor: Aesthetics, Ethics, Volatility, Precarity”, Current Anthropology, 56: Supplement 11 (2015), pp. 3–14 (Introduction).
Eckert, A. (ed.), Global Histories of Work (Berlin, 2016).
Eckert, A., “Capitalism and Labour in Sub-Saharan Africa”, in J. Kocka and M. van der Linden (eds), Capitalism: The Re-Emergence of a Historical Concept (London, 2016), pp. 165–186.
Gerrard, J., Precarious Enterprise on the Margins. Work, Poverty, and Homelessness in the City (New York, 2017).
International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), “Precarious Work: Undermining Human Rights”, March 2010.
Johnson, C.G., “The Urban Precariat, Neoliberalization, and the Soft Power of Humanitarian Design”, Journal of Developing Societies, 27 (2011), pp. 445–475.
Kudva, N., Beneria L. (eds), Rethinking Informalization: Poverty, Precarious Jobs and Social Protection (Ithaca, NY, 2005).
Leogrande, A., “Il caporalato e le nuove schiavitù”, Parolechiave, 1 (2016), pp. 103–108.
Lewis, H. et al., Precarious Lives: Forced Labour, Exploitation and Asylum (Bristol, 2014).
Lewis, H. et al., “Hyper-precarious Lives. Migrants, Work and Forced Labour in the Global North”, Progress in Human Geography, 29 (2015), pp. 580–600.
Lima, H.E., “Freedom, Precariousness, and the Law: Freed Persons Contracting out Their Labour in Nineteenth-Century Brazil”, International Review of Social History, 54 (2009), pp. 391–416.
Mantouvalou, V., “Human Rights for Precarious Workers: The Legislative Precariousness of Domestic Labor”, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 34 (2012), pp. 133–166.
Millar, K.M., “The Precarious Present: Wageless Labor And Disrupted Life in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”, Cultural Anthropology, 29 (2014), pp. 32–53.
Petrungaro, S., “The Fluid Boundaries of ‘Work’. Some Considerations Regarding Concepts, Approaches, and South-Eastern Europe”, Südost-Forschungen, 72 (2013), pp. 271–286.
Rogan, M. et al., “Informal Employment in the Global South: Globalization, Production Relations, and ‘Precarity’”, in A.L. Kalleberg and S.P. Vallas, (eds), Precarious Work. Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences (Bingley, 2018), pp. 307–333.
Swider, S., Building China: Informal Work and the New Precariat (Ithaca, NY, 2015).
Theron, J., “Informalization from Above, Informalization from Below: The Options for Organization”, African Studies Quarterly, 11 (2010), pp. 87–105.
Theron, J., “Intermediary or Employer? Labour Brokers and the Triangular Employment Relationship,” Industrial Law Journal, 26 (2005), pp. 618–649.
Tranberg Hansen, K. and M. Vaa (eds), Reconsidering Informality: Perspectives from Urban Africa (Uppsala, 2004).
Webster E., A.O. Britwum, Bhowmik S. (eds), Crossing the Divide. Precarious Work and the Future of Labour (Pietermaritzburg, 2017).
Woolfson, C., “Pushing the Envelope: The “Informalization’ of Labour in Post-communist New EU Member States,” Work, Employment and Society, 21 (2007), pp. 551–564.
9. Precarious work, social movements, and trade unions
ACTRAV, From Precarious Work to Decent Work. Outcome Document to the Workers’ Symposium on Policies and Regulations to Combat Precarious Work (Geneva, 2012).
Armano, E., A. Bove, and A. Murgia, Mapping Precariousness, Labour Insecurity and Uncertain Livelihoods: Subjectivities and Resistance (Abingdon, 2017).
Bodnar, C., “Taking it to the Streets: French Cultural Worker Resistance and the Creation of a Precariat Movement”, Canadian Journal of Communication, 31 (2016), pp. 675–694.
Busch, M., Jeskow, J., and R. Stutz (eds), Zwischen Prekarisierung und Protest. Die Lebenslagen und Generationsbilder von Jugendlichen in Ost und West (Bielefeld, 2010).
Choi, H.-L. and A. Mattoni, “The Contentious Field of Precarious Work in Italy: Political Actors, Strategies and Coalitions”, Journal of Labor and Society, 13 (2010), pp. 213–243.
Contarini, S., M. Jansen, and S. Ricciardi, Le culture del precariato. Pensiero, azione, narrazione (Verona, 2015).
Contarini S. and L. Marsi, Précariat. Pour une critique de la société de la précarité (Paris, 2014).
D. Sario, B., “‘Precari su Marte’: An Experiment in Activism Against Precarity”, Feminist Review, 87 (2007), pp. 21–39.
Della Porta, D. et al. (eds), The New Social Division: Making and Unmaking Precariousness, (London, 2015).
Doellgast, V., N. Lillie, and V. Pulignano (eds), Reconstructing Solidarity: Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe (Oxford, 2018).
European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), Precarious Work in Europe. Causes and Consequences for the Agriculture, Food and Tourism Sectors (2011).
European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), Social Justice from Farm to Fork. Fight Precarious Work! EFFAT Charter on Precarious Work (2009).
Evans, J. and E. Gibb, Moving from Precarious Employment to Decent Work, (Geneva, 2009).
Foti, A., “The Precariat for Itself: EuroMayDay and Precarious Workers’ Movements”, in E. Armano, A. Bove, and A. Murgia (eds), Mapping Precariousness, Labour Insecurity and Uncertain Livelihoods: Subjectivities and Resistance (Abingdon, 2017), pp. 149–156.
Foti, A., General Theory of the Precariat. Great Recession, Revolution, Reaction (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2017).
Fumagalli, A., “Cognitive Relational (Creative) Labor and the Precarious Movement for ‘Commonfare’: ‘San Precario’ and EuroMayDay”, in G. Cocco and B. Szaniecki (eds), Creative Capitalism, Multitudinous Creativity. Radicalities and Alterities, (Lanham, MD, 2015), pp. 3–24.
Garrett, R. and L.K. Jackson, “Art, Labour and Precarity in the Age of Veneer Politics”, Alternative Routes, 27 (2016) pp. 279–299.
International Metalworkers’ Federation, Precarious Work Affects us All! Mobilizing Globally Against Precarious Work (2008).
Johnson, M. (ed.), Precariat: Labour, Work and Politics (London, 2016).
Keune, M., “Trade Union Responses to Precarious Work in Seven European Countries”, International Journal of Labour Research, 5 (2013), pp. 59–78.
Knotter, A., “Justice for Janitors Goes Dutch. Precarious Labour and Trade Union Response in the Cleaning Industry (1988–2012): A Transnational History”, International Review for Social History, 62 (2017), pp. 1–35.
Lambert, R. and A. Herod (eds), Neoliberal Capitalism and Precarious Work. Ethnographies of Accommodation and Resistance (Cheltenham, 2016).
Mattoni, A., Media Practices and Protest Politics. How Precarious Workers Mobilise (Farnham, 2012).
Milkman, R. and E. Ott (eds), New Labor in New York: Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement, (New York, 2014).
Murgia, A. and E. Ermano (eds), Mappe della precarietà, 2 vols (Bologna, 2012).
Murgia, A. and G. Selmi, “Inspire and Conspire. Italian Precarious Workers between Self-Organization and Self-Advocacy”, Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements, 4 (2012), pp. 81–196.
Marchart, O., Die Prekarisierungsgesellschaft. Prekäre Proteste. Politik und Ökonomie im Zeichen der Prekarisierung (Bielefeld, 2013).
Neilson, B. and N. Rossiter, “From Precarity to Precariousness and Back Again: Labour, Life and Unstable Networks”, Fibreculture Journal, 5 (2005).
Ross, A., “The New Geography of Work: Power to the Precarious?”, Theory, Culture & Society, 25 (2008), pp. 31–49.
Schram, S.F., The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy, (New York, 2015).
Schierup, C.-U., “Under the Rainbow: Migration, Precarity and People Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa”, Critical Sociology, 42 (2016), pp. 1051–1068.
Schierup, C.-U. and M.B. Jørgensen (eds), “Politics of Precarity: Migrant Conditions, Struggles and Experiences”, Critical Sociology, 42: Special Issue (2016).
Tari, M. and I. Vanni, “On the Life and Deeds of San Precario, Patron Saint of Precarious Workers and Lives”, Fibreculture Journal, 5 (2005).
Trott, B., “From the Precariat to the Multitude”, Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought, 3 (2013), pp. 406–425.
10. Journal issues on precarious work
“For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity”, Interface: a journal for and about social movements, 2 (2012).
“Globalization and Labor Flexibility: The Latin American Case(s)”, Latin American Perspectives, 31:4 (2004).
“Italian Feminisms”, Feminist Review, 87, 3 (2007).
“Meeting the Challenge of Precarious Work. A Worker’s Agenda”, International Journal of Labour Research, 5:1: Special Issue (2013).
“Precarious Situations: Race, Gender, Globality”, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 23:2: Special Issue (2013).
“Precarious Work and Human Rights”, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 34: Special Issue (2012).
“Precarious Work and the Struggle for Living Wages”, Alternatives Routes, 27: Special Issue (2016).
“Youth and Precarious Work”, Social Alternatives, 34:4: Special Issue (2015).
Appelbaum, E. (ed.), “Precarious Work in Polarizing Times: A Symposium on Arne L. Kalleberg’s Good Jobs, Bad Jobs (Russel Sage Foundation, 2011)”, Work and Occupations, 39:4: Special Issue (2012).
Bellavitis, A. and S. Piccone Stella (eds), “Flessibili/Precarie”, Genesis, 7:1–2: Special Issue (2008).
Choudry, A. and T. Collombat (eds), “Nouvelles voix sur la précarité du travail et sur la résistance ouvrière”, Labour, Capital and Society, 45:1: Special Issue (2012).
De Simone, G. and S. Scarponi (eds), “Genere, lavori precari, occupazione instabile”, Lavoro e diritto, 24:3: Special Issue (2010).
Hewison, K. and A.L. Kalleberg (eds), “Precarious Work in South and Southeast Asia”, American Behavioral Scientist, 57:4: Special Issue (2013).
Kalleberg, A.L. and K. Hewison (eds), “Precarious Work in East Asia”, American Behavioral Scientist, 57:3: Special Issue (2013).
Kalleberg, A.L. and S.P. Vallas (eds), Precarious Work. Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences (Bingley, 2018).
Mosoetsa, S., C. Tilly, and J. Stillermann (eds), “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective”, International Labour and Working-Class History, 89 (2016).
Neilsen, B. and N. Rossiter (eds), “Precarious Labour”, The Fibreculture Journal, 5: Special Issue (2005).
Nienhueser, W. (ed.), “Flexible Work – Atypical Work – Precarious Work?”, Management Revue, 16: Special Issue (2005).
Schierup, C.-U. and M.B. Jørgensen (eds), “Politics of Precarity: Migrant Conditions, Struggles and Experience”, Critical Sociology, 42: Special Issue (2016).
11. Additional regional and national studies
Europe
Alós, R., F. Míguelez, and A. Recio, El trabajo precario en el comercio (Barcelona, 1988).
Altenhain, C. et al. (eds), Von ‘Neuer Unterschicht’ und Prekariat. Gesellschaftliche Verhältnisse und Kategorien im Umbruch. Kritische Perspektiven auf aktuelle Diskurse (Bielefeld, 2008).
Brinkmann, U., K. Dörre, and S. Röbenack, Prekäre Arbeit. Ursachen, Ausmaß, soziale Folgen und subjektive Verarbeitungsformen unsicherer Beschäftigungsverhältnisse (Bonn, 2006).
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Castillo, J.J. and C. Prieto, Condiciones de trabajo. Hacia un enfoque renovador de la sociología del trabajo (Madrid, 1983).
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Linhart, D. and M. Maruani, “Précarisation et déstabilisation des emplois ouvriers, quelques hypothèses”, Travail et emploi, 11 (1982), pp. 21–40.
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Recio, A., “Flexibilidad, eficiencia y desigualdad (notas sobre la flexibilidad laboral)”, Sociología del Trabajo, 4 (1988), pp. 81–106.
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Sánchez Moreno, M. and A. Cutanda Tarín, “Segmentación, flexibilidad y precarización en el mercado de trabajo de la Comunidad Valenciana”, Revista de Treball, 16 (1991), pp. 169–183.
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North America
Cranford, C.J., L.F. Vosko, and N. Zukewich, “Precarious Employment in the Canadian Labour Market: A Statistical Portrait”, Just Labour. A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, 3 (2003), pp. 6–22.
De Peuter, G., “Confronting Precarity in the Warhol Economy: Notes from New York City”, Journal of Cultural Economy, 7 (2014), pp. 31–47.
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Kalleberg, A.L., “Precarious Work, Insecure Workers: Employment Relations in Transition”, American Sociological Review, 1 (2009), pp. 1–22.
Kalleberg, A.L., Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s–2000s (New York, 2011).
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Schellenberg, G. and C. Clarke, Temporary Employment in Canada: Profiles, Patterns and Policy Considerations (Ottawa, 1996).
Australia
Burgess, J. and I. Campbell, “The Nature and Dimensions of Precarious Employment in Australia”, Labour and Industry: A Journal of the Social and Economic Relations of Work, 8 (1998), pp. 5–21.
Tweedie, D., “Precarious Work and Australian Labour Norms”, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 3 (2013), pp. 297–315.
Japan
Allison, A., “Ordinary Refugees: Social Precarity and Soul in 21st Century Japan”, Anthropological Quarterly, 85 (2012), pp. 345–370.
Allison, A., Precarious Japan, (Durham, NC, 2013).
Gottfried, H., “Precarious Work in Japan: Old Forms, New Risks?”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 3 (2014), pp. 464–478.
Iwata-Weickgenannt, K. and R. Rosenbaum, Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature (London and New York, 2014).
Piotrowski M., A.L. Kalleberg, and R. Rindfuss, “Contingent Work Rising: Implications for the Timing of Marriage in Japan”, Journal of Marriage and Family, 5 (2015), pp. 1039–1056.
Eastern Europe and Russia
Herrmann, P., V. Bobkov, and J. Csoba (eds), Labour Market and Precarity of Employment. Theoretical Reflection and Empirical Data from Hungary and Russia (Vienna, 2014).
Walker, C., “Stability and Precarity in the Lives and Narratives of Working-Class Men in Putin’s Russia”, Social Alternatives, 4 (2015), pp. 28–34.
China
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Zhang, T.Y., “From China to the Big Top: Chinese Acrobats and the Politics of Aesthetic Labor, 1950–2010”, in S. Mosoetsa, C. Tilly, and J. Stillermann (eds), “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective”, International Labor and Working-Class History, 89: Special Issue (2016), pp. 40–63.
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Asia
Constable, N., “Migrant Motherhood, ‘Failed Migration’, and the Gendered Risks of Precarious Labour”, TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, 3 (2015), pp. 135–151.
Hewison, K. and A.L. Kalleberg, “Precarious Work and Flexibilization in South and Southeast Asia”, American Behavioral Scientist, 57 (2013), pp. 395–402.
Jang, S.-Y. et al., “Precarious Employment and New-Onset Severe Depressive Symptoms: A Population-Based Prospective Study in South Korea”, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 41 (2015), pp. 329–337.
Jung, M., “Precarious Seoul: Urban Inequality and Belonging of Young Adults in South Korea”, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, 25 (2017), pp. 745–767.
Kalleberg, A.L. and K. Hewison, “Precarious Work and the Challenge for Asia”, American Behavioral Scientist, 57 (2013), pp. 271–288.
Lee, H. and R.E. Ofreneo, “From Asian to Global Financial Crisis: Recovery Amidst Expanding Labour Precarity”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 44 (2014).
Shankar, V.K. and R. Sahni, “The Inheritance of Precarious Labor: Three Generations in Waste Picking in an Indian City”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 25 (2017), pp. 245–262.
Sapkal, S.R. and K.R. Shyam Sundar, “Determinants of Precarious Employment in India: An Empirical Analysis”, in A.L. Kalleberg and S.P. Vallas (eds), Precarious Work. Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences (Bingley, 2018), pp. 335–361.
Africa
Barchiesi, F., “Wage Labor, Precarious Employment, and Social Inclusion in the Making of South Africa’s Postapartheid Transition”, African Studies Review, 51 (2008), pp. 119–142.
Barchiesi, F., Precarious Liberation. Workers, the State and Contested Social Citizenship in Post-Apartheid South Africa, (New York and Durban, 2011).
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Smit, R. and P. Rugunanan, “From Precarious Lives to Precarious Work: The Dilemma Facing Refugees in Gauteng, South Africa”, South African Review of Sociology, 45 (2014).
Latin America
Galin, P., “Asalariados, precarización y condiciones de trabajo”, Nueva Sociedad, 85 (1986), pp. 30–38.
Neffa, J., “Condiciones y medio ambiente de trabajo de los trabajadores a domicilio en Argentina” (Buenos Aires, 1987).
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Marshall, A., Formas precarias de trabajo asalariado. Dos estudios en el Área Metropolitana de Buenos Aires (Geneva, 1990).
Cortes, R., “El Trabajo clandestino en la industria del vestido”, in CIAT-OIT and Ministerio de Trabajo Y Seguridad Social, El empleo precario en Argentina (Lima, 1988), pp. 75–87.
Forero-Rodríguez, R. and R. Forero-Contreras, “Nuevas formas y aspectos de las relaciones de trabajo atípicas”, XI Congreso Internacional de Derecho del Trabajo y la Seguridad Social, Ponencias Nacionales, Tema II, vol. 1 (Caracas, 1988).
Peñalba, S. and A. Rofman (eds), Desempleo structural, pobreza y precariedad (Buenos Aires, 1996).
Lindenboim, J., “The Precariousness of Argentine Labor Relations in the 1990s”, Latin American Perspectives, 31 (2004), pp. 21–31.
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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
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