Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. People suffering from precarity, especially as a social class; people living a precarious existence, without security or predictability, especially job security.

Etymologies

Blend of precarious and proletariat (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Village Voice headlined "A Sleeping Class: Young Americans Fight for Every Cause But Their Own." book, my beat was the economic headwinds young people are facing: mounting student loans, credit card debt, unemployment, unpaid internships or short-term, part-time, no-benefits jobs that have them joining a new "precariat."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The planetary precariat -- illegal immigrants, temporary and informal workers, insecure indebted citizens in neoliberal post-welfare states, dwellers in peri-urban slums and refugee camps are profoundly limited in their capacity to engage in acts of consent.

    amor mundi

  • "I have silently supported the movement of “precariat workers” [whose jobs are poorly paid, insecure and unprotected].

    Toyota's 'Just-in-Time' System and the Akihabara Killings

Comments

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  • Growing numbers of Americans no longer hold a regular “job” with a long-term connection to a particular business. Instead, they work “gigs” where they are employed on a particular task or for a defined time, with little more connection to their employer than a consumer has with a particular brand of chips. Borrowed from the music industry, the word “gig” has been applied to all sorts of flexible employment (otherwise referred to as “contingent labor,” “temp labor,” or the “precariat”). Some have praised the rise of the gig economy for freeing workers from the grip of employers’ “internal labor markets,” where career advancement is tied to a particular business instead of competitive bidding between employers. Rather than being driven by worker preferences, however, the rise of the gig economy comes from employers’ drive to lower costs, especially during business downturns. Gig workers experience greater insecurity than workers in traditional jobs and suffer from lack of access to established systems of social insurance.
    Gerald Friedman, The Rise of the Gig Economy, Dollars & Sense, March/April 2014

    April 6, 2016

  • They grasp but never tarry at
    The fringe of the proletariat.
    The edge is too brittle
    Or strength is too little
    For rescue from the precariat.

    June 8, 2015

  • Italian precariato is a commonly used word.

    August 29, 2009

  • Ella Myers: 'Mika LaVaque-Manty's "Finding Theoretical Concepts in the Real World: The Case of the Precariat" offers a smart and well-argued reading of a new political entity, the precariat, that has recently emerged in Europe (and was especially significant in the 2006 protests in France opposing government-backed labor reforms)... The "precariat", as LaVaque-Manty explains, is a term meant to capture a new collective actor -- those who face an increasingly precarious working life. Significantly, the precariat is a "condition concept", meant to refer to a common condition faced by its members.'

    August 29, 2009