The Empowered and the Powerless: How Polish Youth Experience Their Precarious Careers
I identify three mechanisms which may shape these perceptions among young precarious workers. The first assumes that their bargaining power, determined by the level and specificity of skills required to perform their jobs and the ease of performance monitoring, is the main factor affecting perceptions of security. The second associates such perceptions with precarious workers' access to various coping resources, such as a sense of self-efficacy brought about by individualization, or economic and social support. Such resources, by minimizing the negative psychological and economic impact of possible job loss on workers, allow them to maintain a positive view of their careers. The third focuses on perceptions of (in)justice: viewing their employment relations as 'fair' and 'reasonable' is likely to decrease precarious workers' perceptions of insecurity. In this paper, I analyse these mechanisms on the basis of qualitative data from in-depth interviews with young precarious workers in Poland, and discuss their implications.