Precarious Politics: Struggles Against Insecurity in the Global North and Global South

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: Booth 41
Oral Presentation
Marcel PARET , University of Johannesburg, South Africa
My discussion will complement Standings' general analysis by focusing on the collective struggles of two insecurely employed, low-income groups at opposite ends of the globe: low-wage immigrant workers in California, United States, and citizens living in poor communities in Gauteng, South Africa.   Both groups compensate for their lack of economic leverage by organizing around demands for recognition, dignity and inclusion. Because these demands are largely directed towards the state, their struggles for economic survival become entangled with struggles around citizenship status. These cases affirm Standing's emphasis on the importance of citizenship and recognition, but paint a more optimistic vision of the precariat's capacity for struggle, and underscore the need for greater attention to differences between the Global North and Global South.