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The Precariat

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Described by Noam Chomsky as 'a very important book', Guy Standing's The Precariat has achieved cult status as the first account of this emerging class of people, facing lives of insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives. Guy Standing warns that the rapid growth of the precariat is producing instabilities in society. It is a dangerous class because it is internally divided, leading to the villainisation of migrants and other vulnerable groups. And, lacking agency, its members may be susceptible to the siren calls of political extremism. He argues for a new politics, in which redistribution and income security are reconfigured and in which the fears and aspirations of the precariat are made central to a progressive strategy. Since first publication of this book in 2011, the precariat has become an ever more significant global phenomenon, highly visible in the Occupy movement and in protest movements around the world. In a new preface Guy Standing discusses such developments - are they indicative of the emergence of a new collective spirit, or do they simply reveal the growing size and growing anger of this new class?
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Table of Contents

Preface Abbreviations 1 The Precariat 2 Why the Precariat is Growing 3 Who Enters the Precariat 4 Migrants: Victims, Villains or Heroes? 5 Labour, Work and the Time Squeeze 6 A Politics of inferno 7 A Politics of Paradise Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

A revised edition of Guy Standing's cult book, the first to document the Precariat, an emerging class around the world, facing lives of insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives.

About the Author

Guy Standing is Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. He has previously been Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath, UK, Professor of Labour Economics at Monash University, Australia and Director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organization. He is co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network. His recent books include Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (2009) and Beyond the New Paternalism: Basic Security as Equality (2002).


A very important book * Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA * Buy Guy Standing's book, The Precariat! Or nick/borrow it! * John Harris, The Guardian * This important and original book brings out the political dangers, so clear in contemporary America, of failing to address the insecurities of the Precariat. It also suggests the way forward: a reconstruction of the concept of work. * Eileen Applebaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington DC, USA * Guy Standing provides an incisive account of how precariousness is becoming the new normality in globalised labour markets, and offers important guidelines for all concerned to build a more just society. * Richard Hyman, London School of Economics, UK * This is an important book. * Citizen's Income Newsletter * Standing has produced a well-informed and important book investigating, for the first time in a comprehensive way, the direction in which global economic security is moving in the 21st century. The book is packed with statistics presented in a very readable form and drawing on extensive published research. It is a compelling account of economic insecurity. * Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation * Over 90% of workers in India are informal, poorly paid, without any economic security. Guy Standing combines vision with practicality in outlining policies that are urgently needed to provide security to workers such as these around the world. * Renana Jhabvala, Self-Employed Women's Association of India * [T]here is much in The Precariat to recommend it to labor educators, labor studies scholars, and activists of all sorts...a book that provides a clear and detailed understanding of how the situation of precarious employment affects the lives of the "precariat" individually, collectively, day to day, and over the longer term. This is the book's greatest value. Standing does this with many international examples, even though his main intellectual base is in Britain. His analysis of the impact of precarity, along with the diversity of examples from around the world, makes this the primary book on the topic to date. -- Joe Berry, Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, Berkeley, CA * Labor Studies Journal * In summary, the analysis and arguments are compelling, for The Precariat brings together and develops many current strands of thought within the (social science) literature, and builds on the materialist tradition which ultimately leads to a rejection of 'neoliberalism'. Standing captures some of the collectivist social policy tradition established by Richard Titmuss, but with more attention to all forms of work and notions of occupational citizenship...The social policy community needs to engage more with issues at stake here, making The Precariat essential reading. -- Chris Deeming * Journal of Social Policy * The most challenging proposal here is probably the one urging states to grant all citizens individually a modest basic income, without conditions or behavioural rules, but Standing provides the most brilliant, succinct and clear-eyed exposition of its economic and social advantages available so far. -- Monica Threlfall, London Metropolitan University, UK * E-International Relations *

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