Precarious Work: Norm or Exception of Capitalism? Historicizing a Contemporary Debate: A Global Gendered Perspective

JVF Conference Papers

Is precarious work the product of specific historical circumstances, such as Post-Fordism and neoliberalism, or is it the real norm of capitalism, while the so-called "standard employment model" is actually the historical exception?

This paper compares and contrasts the different interpretations of the role of precarious work in the history of capitalism provided in the past two decades by socio-economic and legal scholars and, more recently, by historians, feminist and post-colonial scholars. Such a debate aims to prove the relativity of the concepts of norm and exception, defined as such according to specific and competitive theoretical frameworks discussed in the paper.

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