WSQ: Precarious Work

WSQ: Precarious Work


Edited by Alyson Cole and Victoria Hattam
This issue explores the political work of precarity and the precarity of work itself through both text and image.

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 12-12-2017

Volume 45, Numbers 3–4: Fall/Winter 2017

As the feminization of labor proliferates globally, precarity is invoked as the dominant motif. The Great Recession, Brexit, and Trump have amplified the sense of crisis in which unemployment rates, gini co-efficients, and debt ratios have soared, while organized labor and environmental agreements have collapsed; all the while, wages stagnate. Some argue optimistically that we are entering a "third industrial revolution," where new opportunities lie within the ruins of old economic forms. Others are more pessimistic seeing precarity throughout. New insecurities exacerbate older inequalities in which devalued labor is always already raced, gendered, and inadequately compensated. Do we require a profound reorientation to work? Should we question our love of work itself rather than worrying about who works, for what purposes, and at what price? What social transformation might less work yield?