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Precarity – Logical Consequence of Societies that Lost the Social


  • Herrmann, Peter


The essay proposes an alternative understanding of social policy, focussing on social quality and as such bringing together biographical and societal development and as well institutional and communal concerns. On this basis the author proposes a definition of precarity that goes far beyond insecurity of employment and its consequences for every day’s life. Thus, actually a definition of precarity is suggested that, while recognising the dimension of individual insecurity with its shortage of resources and the lack of power over the own life, points on a second and crucial dimension. This is the precarity of a society and its integrity due to the loss of its social dimension, being solely shaped by and engaged in individualism. Precarity, then, is the paradox of individuals loosing control in an otherwise individualistic, ‘privatised’ society.

Suggested Citation

  • Herrmann, Peter, 2006. "Precarity – Logical Consequence of Societies that Lost the Social," MPRA Paper 10063, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10063

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zürn, Michael & Leibfried, Stephan & Zangl, Bernhard & Peters, Bernhard, 2004. "Transformations of the state?," TranState Working Papers 1, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
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    More about this item


    Social Precarity; Social Integration; Labour Market; Unemployment; European Societies;

    JEL classification:

    • P19 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Other
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • P10 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - General
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics


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