Precarious Work and Youth, in Greece: Theoretical and Definitional Insights and Critical Notes on the International- National State of Play and the Impact of Precariousness in Young People’s Life Course and Political Behavior
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The global financial and economic Crisis has heavily affected the state of play in the labour market all across the Globe, provoking severe modifications. Precarious work is gradually expanding, nowadays. A growing share of people, especially young ones, even having jobs “are increasingly employed in temporary and low-qualified positions….The effects of precarious employment are particularly negative and persistent on young workers, as difficult early experiences of transition into work are likely to be associated with deterioration in long term life chances (“scaring effect”)” (Lodovici & Semenza 2012: 7). On all these grounds, precarious work has become a key issue on debates related to the state of play of the labour market/s, the future of work, as well as to the impact of precariousness on people’s life courses and on the determinants of their political behaviour. Further, precarious employment is associated with skills mismatch (as in the case of Italy), deconstructed labour markets (as in the case of Greece), random transitions, where the “employment trajectories do not seem to lead anywhere, and the sensation of being trapped is profoundly embedded” (Lodovici & Semenza 2012: 13-14), such as in Spain. As Kalleberg and Vallas point out, the rise of precarious work “holds great importance, not only for the work situations and career opportunities that workers can expect but also for broad macro-social issues involving the role of the welfare state and the nature of economic policy” (Kalleberg & Vallas 2017: 1). Given all the abovementioned, the present paper deals with precarious work among youth. It initially focuses on theoretical insights concerning precariousness in the labour market, while it provides critical definitional issues. Then, it briefly presents the state of play regarding precarious work (with special emphasis to young people) in the EU and mainly in Greece (based on secondary quantitative-data analysis). Finally it explores the impact of precarious work on Greek young people’s life courses, on key aspects- facets of their political behavior, as well as on the social cohesion.
The present paper is based on an ongoing Research Project. More specifically, this research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014- 2020» in the context of the project “Precarious Work and Youth in today’s Greece: secondary quantitative analysis, qualitative filed research and research-based policy proposals” (MIS 5048510).
Lodovici, M. S., & Semenza, R. (Eds.). (2012). Precarious work and high-skilled youth in Europe. (Vol. 937). Milan: FrancoAngeli.
Kalleberg, A. L., & Vallas St. P. (2017). Probing Precarious Work: Theory, Research, and Politics. In A. L. Kalleberg, & St. P. Vallas (Eds.), Precarious Work (Research in the Sociology of Work). (Volume 31) (pp. 1-30). Emerald Publishing Limited.