Precarity

Authored by: Jacob Breslow

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138665569
eBook ISBN: 9781315619811
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315619811-53

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Abstract

This entry’s exploration of the relationship between precarity and citizen media includes, but is not limited to, the traditional analysis of the precariat. While the precariat has been understood in primarily economic terms to define a class of people constricted by unstable labour conditions and sustained economic instability, this entry expands on the notion of ‘precarious’ to include other forms of uncertainty and insecurity. Taking on the call to situate citizen media as multifaceted and performative interventions in various forms of sociality and world building projects, the entry additionally considers precarity in regards to acts of citizenship, negotiations of criminalized and unrecognized labour, contested geographies, radical subjectivities, and acts of performative refusal. It specifically examines creative acts of collective and individual resistance to forms of precarization which include outsourcing, hazardous working conditions, the criminalization of sex work, the proliferation of flexible labour and zero-hour contracts, anti-black racism, environmental destruction, and the afterlife of apartheid and colonialism. Taking on an intersectional feminist, critical race, queer, and postcolonial perspective, it highlights fleeting, quotidian and longstanding acts of mediation and embodied activism which recalibrate and interfere with dominant narratives and structures of precarization.

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