Summary of The Precariat

The New Dangerous Class

First Edition: 2011 more...

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The Precariat book summary
As Professor Guy Standing warns, a new social, political and cultural class has arrived worldwide – the underemployed, alienated and enraged.


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Guy Standing, professor of development studies at the University of London, offers an unprecedented, necessary and articulate examination of a dominant, crucial consequence of globalization: the creation and maintenance of a seemingly permanent, worldwide, growing underclass of migrant, underpaid, exploited, short-term workers, the “precariat.” Their jobs and social positions are just that: precarious. This group includes millions of people from rural China who flock to the cities to work for low wages, women in many places working service jobs without contracts, and youth disenfranchised by a lack of opportunities for a career or even a stable job. Standing explains how globalization forced them into this way of life and argues for their reintegration into mainstream society. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends his important, eye-opening and groundbreaking report to students, NGO officials, policy makers, CEOs, HR personnel, and anyone delving into business, politics and the consequences of globalization.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How neoliberal policies and globalization contribute to the growth of the “precariat,”
  • Who belongs to the precariat
  • How the precariat lives and works
  • How a “basic income” might free the precariat from a life of uncertainty


Neoliberals, Globalization and Emerging Social Classes
The 1980s ushered in the age of neoliberal economic philosophy, which holds that the marketplace should infiltrate “all aspects of life” and that competition must drive every decision. Neoliberals oppose labor unions, state control...
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About the Author

Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, Guy Standing also wrote A Precariat Charter and Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India.

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