Category Precariousness

Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu: Textile livelihoods under threat

by Geert De Neve **Reprinted by permission from the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme.** On the 24th of March 2020, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete national lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 on the subcontinent. While this brought the movements of more than 1.3 billion people to an almost immediate halt, many […]

A Rise in Vulnerability? Academic Studies, Paid Work and Mental Health

**This is the second of three posts on student experience, debt and austerity in higher education; see post published on October 8th.** by Anne-Meike Fechter In the last few years, a slew of reports voiced concerns about a rise of mental health problems among university students, in the UK and elsewhere. While there is debate about […]

How Does the Necessity of Paid Work Impact Our Students?: Learning from the Global Studies Student Employment Survey

by Paul Robert Gilbert **This is the first of three posts on student experience, debt and austerity in higher education; the second post was published on October 15th.** There is little more grating, for those of us who work in Higher Education, than those portions of the British media who insist on propagating lazy stereotypes of ‘work-shy […]

No Paninis for Poverty Pay

by Rebecca Prentice Throughout the UK yesterday restaurant and food delivery workers walked off their jobs to protest low wages, zero hours contracts, and unpredictable work schedules—including those from Brighton’s two JD Wetherspoon restaurants, The Post and Telegraph and The Bright Helm. Writing in The Guardian, Owen Jones and Katie Southworth describe these strikes as […]

Accumulation by Dispossession, Solidarity in Precarity and the Future of Higher Education…

…A Quick Manifesto  by a group of Anthropology and Global Studies students at the University of Sussex As both consumers of knowledge capital, and investors in our own education, we thought it might be useful to bring to your attention the concept of accumulation by dispossession, the precarity it entails both in academia and in the rest […]

Anthropologists on the Strike

Yesterday, lecturers began 14 days of strikes in over 60 universities across the United Kingdom. Nominally, the strikes are to oppose pension changes proposed by university employers that would end defined benefits and offload the risk of pension income onto lecturers themselves. Here at Culture & Capitalism, we will round up writing and interviews from anthropologists on the […]

Deliveroo Riders Aren’t Workers, Says London Tribunal

by Rebecca Prentice In a surprise setback for trade unions attempting to organise the ‘gig’ economy, a London tribunal has ruled that Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors, not ‘workers.’ This means that the riders do not have basic rights to minimum wage, holiday pay, and health and safety protections. They also have no right to […]

Agency, Upkeep, and Neglect in North Carolina Farm Labor Camps

by Bennett Heine In a recent article in Human Organization, co-authors Thomas Arcury, Sarah Quandt, and I draw from interviews with migrant farmworkers to conclude that agency matters. It matters for the day-to-day material well-being and dignity of farmworkers and their families; for researchers looking to situate the lives and struggles of migrant farmworkers within […]

When buildings burn, from London to Dhaka

by Rebecca Prentice There is for me a sad familiarity in the story of the Grenfell Tower fire. I have spent recent years researching garment factory fires and collapses in Bangladesh. Large-scale fires, no matter where they are, have a recursive quality to them. There is always the story of the spark that begins it, […]

Precarity as Freedom? Youth, Neoliberalism and the Dissolution of ‘Japan, Inc.’

by Shuto Fukuoka It would not be an overstatement to say that the Japanese youth of today are significantly foreign to the one a couple of decades ago, in relation to their lives, values, and consciousness. Throughout the post-war period, and particularly the past two decades, Japan witnessed dramatic socioeconomic transformation. Japanese society was founded […]