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Revisiting precarity, with care: Productive and reproductive labour in the era of flexible capitalism

Introduction

The concept of precarity – a term describing the flexible and uncertain working and living conditions in the contemporary world – is often presented in opposition to the idea of stability. On the one pole stands the idea of a permanent job or career: a secure and stable life-long chain of economic pursuits and social relations that promise steady upward mobility across generations (Sennett, 1998: 9). On the other pole remains the hyper-flexible contractual labour and displaced life advanced by new forms of managerial capitalism. 

Designers of competition at work: A neoliberal consensus-machine caught in the act

A third species: Designers of competition

A warning from Josefa, a faculty manager, is only one example of the deep doubts of those whose job it is to install a more ‘rational’ distribution of budgets:

We have to be very careful, that the history of communist regimes is not repeated in the current management. We simply tolerate a system too much although, quite frankly, nobody believes in it. (Josefa, interview clipping from a study presented below) 

Evaluation and the tension between generalization and particularity: The negotiation of supplementary child allowance in a collective firm

Introduction

This paper follows the negotiations of a model to calculate supplementary child allowance inside a radical democratic organization – the Radical Cola Collective (RCC) – that pays equal hourly wages to all. With equal wages, the RCC originally refrains from evaluating differences of worth, but also differences of need. The inclusion of new members with children leads the collective to reconsider this decision. The RCC embarks on a process of discovery and negotiation to find a model for calculating fair supplementary child allowance.

Subverting capital’s temporality: A critical reappraisal of laziness

Introduction

Pulcinella, or Punch, the famous Neapolitan puppet-buffoon of commedia dell’arte, has hanging on his bedroom wall a notice stating ‘Do it tomorrow’. It is the first thing he sees when he rises from bed each morning. When faced with a new days’ demands of successive ‘things to do’, simply reading this notice is enough to short-circuit any attempt at doing what Pulcinella has to do, is supposed to do, or has been asked to do, in an eternal postponement of his daily tasks.

On commoners’ daily struggles: Carving out the when/where of commoning

Introduction

Becoming in common then, is a partial, transitory becoming, one which needs to be (re)performed to remain stable over time and space. (Nightingale, 2019: 15)

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