Stefano Bà

Parenthood and job insecurity. Combining family life and precarious employment

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This article is based on a theoretically driven empirical research on parents in precarious work. There is a dearth of research in this specific topic and this article comes to fill the gap. The research took part in Central Italy, through a series of qualitative interviews of parents in insecure jobs. The detailed description of parents' insecure jobs (precarity) and their family lives is connected to the conceptual analysis of precarious employment as social form: seemingly economic concepts (like use value and exchange value, wage, employment), are re-interpreted in the context of struggle in which parents are implicated on a daily basis. The conceptual couple of adaptation and resistance is found to be key for the understanding of their narratives; precarious parents do not simply adapt to their insecure life circumstances, nor simply put up with precarious work conditions. The type of resistance to the economic necessity they are trapped in can be deciphered through their narratives around dignity. Dignity represents their daily struggle against economic subordination and marginalisation. This research thus presents its participants in a way that highlights their contributions to social life, contributions that are built from below through precarity.


  • Precarious Work
  • Parenting
  • Struggle
  • Use-Value
  • Dignity


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