Precarious work: Economic, sociological and political perspectives

Shaun Wilson*, Norbert Ebert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This article brings together labour relations, sociological and political perspectives on precarious employment in Australia, identifying local contexts of insecurity and setting them within the economics of regional supply chains involving the use of migrant labour. In developing the concept of precarious work-societies, it argues that precarity is a source of individual and social vulnerability and distress, affecting family, housing and communal security. The concept of depoliticisation is used to describe the processes of displacement, whereby the social consequences of precarious work come to be seen as beyond the reach of agency. Using evidence from social attitudes surveys, we explore links between the resulting sense of political marginalisation and hostility to immigrants. Re-politicisation strategies will need to lay bare the common basis of shared experiences of insecurity and explore ways of integrating precarious workers into new community and global alliances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalEconomic and Labour Relations Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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