Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Standing Precariat (2)

Guy Standing identifies four A’s that have influenced the emerging precariat. When combined together he says that they make a perfect storm.

  • Anxiety. More and more people a faced with anxiety and a sense of insecurity in their lives. This is not insurance based insecurity due to the probability of debilitating events. This is anxiety based on chronic uncertainty in many aspects of life.

  • Alienation. The precariat no longer feel that they are doing what they would like to do. They are forced to be part of this insecure work force. They often feel underemployed, yet feel over-employed in that they are pressed to do things that they do not want to do. Governments are telling people that they must be flexible, adaptable and mobile, but are not offering a model where people can have a sense of security in their career.

  • Anomy is a sociological concept that comes from Emil Durkheim and refers to a sense of despair of escape. It sense of passivity induced by a feeling that whatever I do I cannot get out of this mess. This sense of anomy permeates many millions of people and many communities in the Western world.

  • Anger is the result of the other three. There is an incredible sense of anger out there. The Occupy movement comes out of this.

Standing describes a precariatised mind. The precariatised mind arises from the loss of industrialised time. We dealt with life in blocks. People got up in the morning and went to work. They had family time in the evening. There were blocks of time in life for schooling, work, then retirement. We now have tertiary time where we flit between activities due to external pressures. We never know what we should be doing. People have lost the ability to reflect and concentrate. We have lost a sense of control as time has been commodified.

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