Government of Precarious

Government of Precarious Years Of Remodelling The Welfare State, The Rise Of Technology, And The Growing Power Of Neoliberal Government Apparatuses Have Established A Society Of The Precarious In This New Reality, Productivity Is No Longer Just A Matter Of Labour, But Affects The Formation Of The Self, Blurring The Division Between Personal And Professional Lives Encouraged To Believe Ourselves Flexible And Autonomous, We Experience A Creeping Isolation That Has Both Social And Political Impacts, And Serves The Purposes Of Capital Accumulation And Social ControlIn State Of Insecurity, Isabell Lorey Explores The Possibilities For Organization And Resistance Under The Contemporary Status Quo, And Anticipates The Emergence Of A New And Disobedient Self Government Of The Precarious From The Trade Paperback Edition

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[Reading] ➿ Government of Precarious Author Isabell Lorey –
  • Hardcover
  • 148 pages
  • Government of Precarious
  • Isabell Lorey
  • 06 March 2019
  • 9781781685952

10 thoughts on “Government of Precarious

  1. says:

    One of the characteristics of the contemporary neo liberal order has been the increasing sense of precariousness in social, economic and cultural life Although this is, itself, a symptom of a wider set of changes it is also recognisable by its symptoms and markers zero hours contracts , a perpetual state of insecurity in employment and elsewhere, a growing number of people making their living from several jobs worked at different times of the week or year For many workers, this is not new consider the uncertain existence of many of the working class or the normal conditions of work in many of the cultural industries What is significant is the spread of this condition of precariousness to formerly stable jobs and work places, and equally importantly to groups within the middle class The growing number of English language explorations of precarity in the last few years is to be welcomed, although the issue has been explored in Italian and French social analyses since the mid 1990s, it seems that the Anglo phone world has only been catching up since the mid 2000s Isabell Lorey s most recent contribution to this literature, in English at least, challenges much of the approach thus far Instead of attempting to define precariousness and therefore identify who are the members of the precariat leading in some cases to arcane discussions of class structures she has drawn on some of her other work there is some good stuff in English at Transversal to explore precariousness as a form of governmentality To do this, she distinguishes three related aspects of insecurity precariousness understood as shared and relational senses of endangerment, precarity which relates to the distribution of precariousness in relations of inequality p12 so incorporates elements of othering and of relations of domination affecting and effecting group membership or otherwise, and precarization, or specifically governmental precarization It is this concept that she explores here.Governmental precarization, which she defines as not only destabilization through employment, but also destabilization of the conduct of life and thus of bodies and modes of subjectivation p13 acts as both a site of subjugation but also, as is so often the case, as a site for resistance not because of some deep seated contradiction in the phenomenon but because of an ambivalence in the modes of domination Appearing early in the argument, this notion of ambivalence clearly locates the case in post modernish frame, rather than a conventionally Marxist or some other form of classical social theory Her principal theoretical reference points are Foucault, with a healthy dose of Paulo Virno, Judith Butler and Deleuze Guatarri All this combines to make for a fairly complex, feminist inflected argument but then she s exploring a fairly complex issue the forms of subjectivation that make precariousness seem freely chosen and therefore a complicit instrument the subjectivation, that is in neo liberal governance There is a lot going on in this essay For me, with my current interests and work, the big ones are the emphasis on precarity as relational rather than some form of essential characteristic, the problematic focus in much social science research on paid labour that fails to adequately acknowledge affective and reproductive labour including some if limited indication of the layering of precariousness associated with migrant and minority ethnic group populations , and the need to ensure that analysis and activism around the issues of insecurity and precariousness take account of precarization as a process and grow from the common understandings of those it affects She makes these points effectively by drawing on Virno s work about virtuousity, where the labour, the work and product of that labour are indistinguishable consider for example teaching, musical performance or a GP s diagnosis to highlight issues around which we need to build on debates and issues in political economy to better grasp this condition of insecurity, especially in the current post Fordist, neo liberal world where non specific anxiety and specific fear so regularly coincide as one The Foucauldian basis of the analysis means that although she highlights issues of labour, especially in the exploration of Virno s work, there is an awful lot to say about labour, about work and about the forms of labour process associated with precariousness this is both how we work as well as how we produce, but this is as much a concern with Virno s work as it is with Lorey s Even taking account of this relative gap, the point that a manual working class emphasis in explorations of the labour process in contemporary capitalism means that we miss much of the affective and gendered character of that labour is well made and points to a significant area for further exploration which is not the point Lorey makes she is concerned about cognitive and virtuoso workers as political actors , but is clearly implied This is a deceptively short book at about 110 pages but it packs a punch worthy of its weightiness There are sections I ll need to revisit, I welcome the emphasis on affective labour and reproductive work as a way to confront the androcentric aspects of many analyses of precarity that lament the collapse of the working class as well as the critique of dependency in the notions of security attached to the welfare state not to say that those welfare state provisions should not be defended, but to say that we need to be wary of romanticising them and the accentuation of forms of research grounded activism that prioritise the common understandings of the people at the heart of those politics.

  2. says:

    A good, short introduction into thinking on precarity precariousness from a feminist thinker Lorey draws heavily from Judith Butler s work and European precarious politics Features a clear, brief intro into Foucault s thinking on biopolitics The text could be clearer at times, but the major concern is the real lack of racial colonial analysis however, this seems to be a pervasive problem for thinking on precarity in general Interesting take on our current political moment, but you could also still read Donna Haraway s still very relevant Cyborg Manifesto and get a similar, fun to read analysis.

  3. says:

    The prose is a disgusting paste of convoluted verbosity materially forming and de forming, the multitude of defected ideologemes, an academic atrocity of dictated verbal destruction However it does have many good ideas The conclusion left me wanting.

  4. says:

    After the first chapter, I wasn t too excited for this book It struck me as obfuscatory It wasn t difficult to figure out what was going on if you knew the neologisms, but it seemed unnecessarily jargony Either my perspective or the text got better in this regard after the first chapter This text delves into debates in sociology and political theory in regards to precariousness in the former and the division between public private as well as the labor work action tripartite from Aristotle and Arendt Lorey criticizes a notable sociologist for the first of these, suggesting that he views precariousness as a threat to some status quo Her argument is that precarious is becoming the new norm This means those who had previous security are now insecure She understands this as a mode of governmentality using surveillance and discipline For the latter, she cites both Virno and Arendt at length to try and suggest that both what Adam Kotsko calls Arendt s axiom the division of private labor economics from the public political and Marx s notion are production no longer work in our society because labor is no in the realm of commodity production for many Even with a massive industrial basis globally, virtuoso work has increased worldwide She suggest that this is an integral part of the precarious movements Her conclusion draws upon Virno to look at an Exodus which draws upon precariousness in a sort of selective manner Disrupting aspects of it by promoting a care for each other, and affirming difference within precarious communities to combat the rampart individualism promoted through precarity.

  5. says:

    Non servile virtuosity seems to be against her sort of find similarities ethic It was astute to see certain elements of self care as another cog in Chul Han s autoexploitation, co opting the affective remains of 60s psychological selfism for a generation that is bound to serve its predecessor or so it seems bound to It was also a nice nod to care ethic philosophy to note that those who demand care do so as a status symbol because those who provide it are providers insofar as they can t demand it However, she fails to connect that this devaluation is precisely because the labor is being offset onto autoexploited providers, namely, the self care ethic under precarious neoliberality And this demand to be both preventative practitioner as well as labor producer only emphasizes precarity insofar as the list of nonmentionables becomes ever extensive those who would threaten your self care, namely, those who would threaten your productiveness My main beef is that I do not think finding similarities amid difference is the answer I think meaningful relationships that are naturally induced lead naturally to networks of that sort Being servile to Other is not necessarily non servile virtuosity, and she might put in motion a deadened swarm state which is just as impotent as the isolated neoliberal worker.

  6. says:

    Lorey does a thorough and timely assessment of precariousness in the modern state definitely not a casual read, as she relies references several key thinkers mainly Judith Butler and brings up her own understanding and explanations of precariousness, precarity, and precarization these are not commonly utilized or understood concepts in US political social science scholarship and rarely brought up in political or social studies debates, so new readers may find their head swimming and require further reading having read at least the two books by Judith Butler that Lorey references, and sharing their concern about precariousness, i enjoyed reading this book her concepts and explanations are full, clear, and supported effectively any citizen who wants to think longer and harder about the growing states of fear and anxiety pervading the lives of everyday people should read this book a scholarly read, for sure, that puts serious pressure on your brain and your willingness to fully engage in thinking through tough ideas and conceptual social processes

  7. says:

    Everything this book said could have been condensed into a pamphlet if it didn t repeat everything it said over and over But if one did that compress it into a pamphlet it d be very obvious that what it s saying is rather vague and kinda obvious.Quick summary precariousness is inevitable and has always been there but it wasn t until post fordism that it became normalized, internalized, and privatized stop caring so much about your own safety Worry about others too Organize, there is power in numbers But don t go excluding people just to satisfy the needs of the group Foucault is daddy.

  8. says:

    I can t help but say that finishing this book did not challenge my feeling that for all the good ideas within this largely overwritten text it would have made a killer 20 page paper if not for the need to publish volumes for legitimacy and visibility Whole pages of hermetic, byzantine text that could be helpfully summarized into sentences only obscured Lorey s points and generally drive readers from the book unfortunate, and unnecessary The good here has to do with her distinctions between precarity a state and precaritarization an action of governmentality, progressed from Foucault and the general understanding that precarity is the fundamental terrain of contemporary labour.

  9. says:

    short and lucid i m thinking 1 ive often seen discussions about precarity used to exceptionalize the way white collar jobs are becoming insecure adjuncts, h1b visas which reinforces a line between the unjustly precarious middle class and the inevitably precarious margin2 interested in lorey s proposal of making care work visible as a way of collapsing the gendered private public spheres3 also thinking about the potentiality lorey suggests of exodus, and forms of productivity that cannot be completely capitalized thanks isabell

  10. says:

    Precarization means than insecure jobs, than the lack of security given by waged employment By way of insecurity and danger it embraces the whole of existence, the body, modes of subjectivation It is threat and coercion, even while it opens up new possibilities of living and working Judith Butler argues in favour of no longer regarding common shared precariousness as threatening and dividing it up into hierarchized protected differences, but instead recognizing existential vulnerability and considering it as an affirmative basis for politics.

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