Theorists of Transformation

  • Joseph Choonara


This chapter focuses on a range of what might be termed “grand narratives” of the transformation of employment. Specifically, it looks at broad accounts of changes envisaged as taking place during the neoliberal period that result, among other things, in the disempowerment of workers through increasing precarity. The theorists examined include Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman, Richard Sennett, Manuel Castells, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Guy Standing and Arne Kalleberg. Two broader concepts that frame discussions of precarity are also considered. The first is the notion of dual or segmented labour markets, which has sometimes been offered as a theoretical framework to explain the division of workers into precarious and non-precarious groupings. The second is the literature of flexibility and the flexible firm. Many of these accounts are questioned on theoretical grounds or on the basis of empirical claims they make.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Choonara
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BusinessUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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