Insecurity is no longer a condition that is specific to a set class of workers; it has become a global issue. It can affect workers of any age, gender or ethnicity, across industrial or service sectors, and even our universities are no longer safe from casualisation, underemployment and outsourcing. To be sure, employment has always had elements of precariousness associated with it, particularly in the primary sectors. However, the steady intensification of capitalism around the world, and its intrusion into almost every facet of human endeavour, has meant that precarious work, as Arne Kalleberg writes, ‘has become much more pervasive and generalized: [even] professional and managerial jobs are also precarious these days’. The telltale signs of precarity, such as insecurity, uncertainty and atomisation/individualisation, are frequently associated with the neoliberalisation of global societies. The twin mantras of flexibility and mobility across the economic market are further evidence of neoliberal principles, as an increasingly casualised work force allows employers the flexibility to shed and acquire labourers in accordance with the demands of capital rather than any humanitarian concern.
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