Knowledge Workers' Subjectivities. Precarisation and Transitions of Young Highly Qualified
Which relation does it hold between educational levels and possibility of effectively deploying the acquired competences and skills? How do knowledge workers represent and face their precarious conditions?
Our reflections are based on results obtained in two recent researches conducted in Italy (Armano, 2010; Murgia et al. 2012) – in the areas of Bologna, Milano, Torino and Trento – during which narratives of about 70 subjects, aged between 25 and 45, have been collected, with reference to the transitions between education and employment. All interviewees were holding high degrees of education (bachelor, master or PhD) and at the time of the interview were employed with autonomous or dependent temporary contracts.
The research inquires on the one hand the risks of depauperation of knowledge and deskilling of highly educated young workers; on the other hand, the strong lack of adequate forms of representation and of policies aimed at facing the specific precariousness of knowledge workers.
In the present article we discuss the precarious and invisible face of the condition of knowledge workers, that collides with the official one, that superficially considers them as “independent and professionals”, though they are experiencing the effects of the further precarisation brought about by the crisis, without a union or political representation.