I’ve recently attended a discussion group ran by the ‘Really Open University’, held at Space Project (spaceproject.org.uk) on Mabgate Green Leeds (16.2.12). The discussion was around ‘Debt, austerity and precarity’, exploring what these terms mean.
I was very interested in the term precarity, being used here in terms of labour precarity, which describes how much work is now temporary, part-time, short term – where people can loose a job over a weekend, where workers rights are very limited – causing extreme insecurity.
I’ve started to think about the meaning of precarity/precariousness. One definition of the word precarious in Longmans Dictionary of the English Language (1984) is ‘characterised by a lack of security or stability’. I’m interested in the obvious sense of negativity that precarious-ness has in this context of work, yet how it has positive values from a creative perspective.