Social links and precarious work: the dignity of families in insecure jobs as a concept to understand their experiences,

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-188
JournalQuaderni di Teoria Sociale
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
Against arguments implying that job insecurity is a new phenomenon which complicates the social picture, this article investigates the case of parents in precarious work in order to show that for them, the most important issues are still linked to crude economic mechanisms and that the concept of dignity has a social relevance to understand their experiences. This article performs a theoretical review of literature in English and Italian around precarious work and family life.

This article concludes that the commodity form of labour affects the private life of parents, because ‘precarity’ means having to continuously look for jobs and remain ‘employable’. Precarious work is understood here in terms of the exacerbation of the historical process of commodification of labour, which is the social form associated to the ‘free market economy’. As a result, parents in insecure jobs struggle to get financial means for them and their children, but also struggle for a decent level of standard of life, which is here indicated by the term ‘dignity’. Dignity is a central dimension, as the struggles of precarious parents cannot be understood solely in economistic terms.

    Research areas

  • families, job insecurity, dignity

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