Theorizing Precarity in a Global Era

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Manisha DESAI, Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Increasingly social theorists and analysts are using the concept of precarity, in particular self-precarization and governmental precarization (Isabel Lorey), to discuss the impact of the neoliberal policies on workers in Europe and the US.  Theorists like Judith Butler and Lauren Berlant, also theorize precarity as a relational concept, an ontological condition of human vulnerability. Yet, most of these theorizations trace the genology of the term to its Western European and US context. In this paper I first present an alternative geneaology that links precarity to feminist theorizations of informal work that enable us to see precarity both as an ontological condition of human vulberability but also as leading to creative strategies that include individual and collective challenges to precarity and alternative possibilities in and beyond neoliberal globalizations.