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Precarity Essay


In today’s society, a precarious global class is emerging. Standing argues that precariat comprises those who lack securities such as job and employment security (19). Presently, most people are faced with this predicament due to a decrease in permanent employment. Precarity is a result of labor flexibility and can be managed through unionization.

In the discussion post, the author argues that market competitiveness led to precarity. Contrary, Standing argues that increased labor flexibility is the primary cause of precarity (1). In retrospect, it is labor flexibility that increased competitiveness. Additionally, flexibility and competitiveness allowed employers to employ workers who agreed to work on low salaries and reduced benefits on a contractual basis.

Though precarity is a result of economic interests that encouraged labor flexibility, it is also a result of nurture. In Japan, permanent employment was highly valued after the Second World War (Chan). Standing states that, presently, the number of permanent employees has reduced due to suicides associated with it (29). Therefore, precarity can be a result of nurtured ideas that discourage permanent employment.

In the discussion post, the author suggests that ordinary people can unionize and demand that corporations reduce precarity. This approach may be unsuccessful because these companies profit by not paying benefits to temporary workers (Bollier). Alternatively, precariat can benefit by forming groups that aim to secure their lives. For example, the Freelance Union in the U.S. supports its members by connecting them to benefits and resources (Bollier). These initiatives would have more impact than the proposed solution.

In conclusion, precarity is a result of economic interests and nurtured ideas. It is problematic since it makes people vulnerable and insecure. Despite these challenges, precariat can acquire security through groups. Ultimately, the groups can advocate for government policies that protect them.

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Works Cited
Boiller, David. “Mutualized Solutions for the Precariat.” David Boiller, 27 April 2016, www.bollier.org/blog/mutualized-solutions-precariat. Accessed 21 October 2018.
Chan, Venus. “Permanent Employment: A Solution to the Precariat Class?” MDXIPE, 8 December 2014, www.mdxipe.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/permanent-employment-a-solution-to-the-precariat-class/. Accessed 21 October 2018.
Standing, Guy. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2011.

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