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Precarity – Logical Consequence of Societies that Lost the Social

Herrmann, Peter (2006): Precarity – Logical Consequence of Societies that Lost the Social.

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The essay proposes an alternative understanding of social policy, focussing on social quality and as such bringing together biographical and societal development and as well institutional and communal concerns. On this basis the author proposes a definition of precarity that goes far beyond insecurity of employment and its consequences for every day’s life. Thus, actually a definition of precarity is suggested that, while recognising the dimension of individual insecurity with its shortage of resources and the lack of power over the own life, points on a second and crucial dimension. This is the precarity of a society and its integrity due to the loss of its social dimension, being solely shaped by and engaged in individualism. Precarity, then, is the paradox of individuals loosing control in an otherwise individualistic, ‘privatised’ society.

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