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Employment insecurity and social theory: the power of nightmares

By Ralph Fevre


Data from the countries which social theorists had in mind when they elaborated the idea of a new age of employment insecurity do not support their theories. If the age of insecurity is dawning anywhere, it is in Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey, Finland and Poland. It is not plausible that these examples inspired Beck, Giddens and Sennett.The causes of the different trends revealed by international compar-ison are more likely to be found in complex, multi-factoral explanations than in an age of insecure employment. The theorists became wedded to their diagnosis because of the problems they encountered in doing theory after the demise of Marxism and the post-modern turn made their critiques insecure.Their need for legitimation made their theorizing vulnerable to co-option in dystopian nightmares that served powerful interests

Year: 2007
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