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the precariat

the growing social classes with low job security


the precariat = eine neue soziale Gruppierung von ungeschützte Arbeitenden und Arbeitslosen.



In his 1577 Description of England the writer William Harrison distinguished "four degrees of people". The first degree consisted of gentlemen, defined as "those whome their race or blood or at least their virtues doo make noble and knowne". Second, came the citizens of England’s cities; then the yeomen of the countryside; and finally a category embracing day labourers, poor husbandmen and servants, people who had "neither voice nor authoritie in the common wealthe, but are to be ruled and not to rule other".

...the Great British Class Survey updated this final grouping as the "PRECARIAT" – whose members earn just £8,000 after tax and are unlikely to go on to higher education.

The Financial Times

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The precariat

- A new word-combination obtained by merging precarious with proletariat.

In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare.

Unlike the proletariat class of industrial workers in the 20th century who lacked their own means of production and hence sold their labour to live, members of the precariat are only partially involved in labour and must undertake extensive "unremunerated activities that are essential if they are to retain access to jobs and to decent earnings".

Specifically, it is the condition of lack of job security, including intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence.

In his book "Precariat: The New Dangerous Class", British economist Guy Standing proposes a basic income as a solution for addressing the problem.

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