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Beyond precarity: the politics of hope, care, and solidarity under conditions of unsettling (im)mobility [Anthropology of Labour Network] 
Mariya Ivancheva (University of Strathclyde)
Dan Hirslund (University of Copenhagen)
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Thursday 16 August, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Stockholm

Short Abstract:

The panel invites empirical case studies that explore if and how precarious living and working situations, inside and outside paid labour, can mobilise solidarity, hope or care under the conditions of unsettling (im)mobility in advanced capitalist societies.

Long Abstract:

Precarity designates existential and structural uncertainty (Butler 2009). Under neoliberal capitalism the professional middle class and organized workers in the Global North - protected within the post-war pact between labour and capital - have become subject to precarious working and living conditions previously "privy" to women, marginalized groups, and people in the developing world (Neilson and Rossiter 2008). Instead of lowering workloads, automation cuts jobs, polarising the labour force between a huge mass of un(der)employed temporary workers and a tiny "elite" of more secure but hypermobile, overworked 'professionals'. A settled risk-free life-long 'career' (Sennett 1998) becomes an ideal to those subject to perpetual setbacks and geographic displacement.

Instead of presenting (yet another) dissection on precarity, the panel invites empirical case studies that look for avenues of social organisation transcending the polar opposition between precarity and stability. We explore if and how precarious living and working situations, both outside paid labour and inside it, can be a mobilising force for relational autonomy (Millar 2014), solidarity (Santer, Hirslund, Benjamin 2017), hope (Narotzky & Besnier), or care (Lynch and Ivancheva 2015).

We invite papers that address this potential for transgressing the politics of precarity through empirical case studies on topics such as, but not limited to:

# Precarity and care within anthropological fieldwork;

# Distinctions between economic and political precarity;

Intersections between precarity, mobility, gender, sex, class, race, disability;

# Everyday coping strategies; desires and new forms of sociality and intimacy; alternative subjectivities or collectivities within precarious communities;

# Automation, precarity, and the future of work.


Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 16 August, 2018, -