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Regular version of the site

Article

Precarity: The Significance of a Controversial Concept

Filosofija, Sociologija. 2019. Vol. 30. No. 2. P. 116-125.
Gasiukova E., Shkaratan O. I.

The authors  focus  on  the  category  of  precarity  that  refers  to  the  phenomenon  of  dynamic instability resulting from income fluctuation and frequent job changes. Precarious workers view their situation as deviating from the norm and standards of living typical of their immediate circles. Thus, the  term precarity describes a situation which is beyond the scope of the labour market and not confined to categories representing non-standard employment relations. As both objective and subjective parameters need to  be  taken  into  consideration  in  precarity  studies,  the  conceptualisation  of  the  phenomenon  should  not  be  subject  to  rigid  universalist  categories.  Identification  criteria prove to be contextual. The authors are convinced that the term precarity denotes a fundamentally  new  phenomenon  not  reduced  to  employment  insecurity  situations  of  the  past.  The article  demonstrates  that  it  is  wrong  to  equate  the  modern  situation  of  precarity  with  the  position  of  an  exploited  proletarian  worker,  as  the  structural  components  of  the  labour  market  have  changed,  and  the  experience  of  the  previous  generation  has  affected  the  development  of  employment  standards  used  as  a bench-mark today. The concept of precarity refers to a phenomenon without any precedents in the past and is highly relevant for studying modern labour markets.