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Vulnerability of the ‘Entrepreneurial Self’: Analysing the Interplay between Labour Markets and Social Policy

  • Kevin Caraher (a1) and Enrico Reuter (a2)

Precarious forms of employment and increased subjectivation have profoundly altered the way in which wage-labour acts as an integrative force in society. At the same time and contributing to these changes, the focus of social policies has undergone a significant transformation, leading to an increased emphasis on individualised activation. Using the concept of vulnerability, the article has three objectives: First, to argue for an understanding of vulnerability that is sensitive to the importance of wage-labour; secondly, to outline how changes in labour markets due to the ongoing crisis of contemporary capitalism create vulnerability and to assess how social policies contribute as well as attempt to respond to these vulnerabilities with ambivalent outcomes; and finally to introduce an analytical approach to explore the interplay between social policy and socio-economic structures in determining the extent and nature of labour-market related vulnerability using the case of self-employment.

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Social Policy and Society
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