Feeling Precarious: Millennial Women and Work
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In Precarious Life (2004), Judith Butler writes about how a shared sense of fear and vulnerability opens the possibility of recognizing interdependency. This is a wider understanding of precarity than is often present in human geography - recognizing the consequences and possibilities of feeling precarious. Focusing on work and the workplace, I examine the working life stories of millennial women in Canada, a labour market where unemployment and underemployment are common experiences for young workers. Using work narratives of insecurity, I argue that one potential consequence of understanding precariousness is the recognition of our social selves, using millennial women's stories of mutual reliance and connection with parents, partners and friends to contrast assumptions of the individualizing, neoliberal, Gen Y worker. I use a feminist understanding of agency and autonomy to argue that young women's stories about work are anything but individual experiences of flexibility or precarity - instead, I explain how relationships play a critical role in worker agency and whether work feels flexible or precarious. Overall I consider what a feminist theorizing of interdependence and precariousness offers geography, emphasizing the importance of subjectivity and relationality.
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Nancy Worth (2015). Feeling Precarious: Millennial Women and Work. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12071