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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #221 - Sociology: The new proletarians Sarah Abdelnour, ed Textuel (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 09 Dec 2012 10:04:38 +0200

New Workers, published in the collection "small encyclopedia critical," aims to revisit the notion of the proletariat today. Indeed, the dominant discour says that the working class has long since disappeared, giving way to a huge middle class to which few escape excluded quasi-residual (commuters, homeless, undocumented ...). In contrast to Sarah Abelnour, talk proletariat has lost none of its relevance even if the composition of it has evolved since the great economic restructuring 70s. ---- For starters, it tries to give a precise definition of what the proletariat. In fact, the term has been so overused over time we could get him to say everything and its opposite. For starters, the proletariat does not exactly match the wage. The proletarian is characterized by the failure to possess its labor force (roughly, his arms and skills).

This is not the case of some layers employees who benefit from access to land, a series of consumer scoring a higher social status, credit, and certain forms of economic capital and / or cultural. The proletariat corresponds to unqualified employees who do not have the means to benefit from the range of goods.

While the former proletariat was mainly composed of industrial workers, what about today? If workers are obviously not disappeared as the dominant ideology would have us believe, their share decreased popultion active. Six million in the '70s, they rose to 4.7 million in 2011, while the population has increased in the meantime. They were joined by a cohort of employees in the service sector, underpaid and exploited. In addition, the proletariat has more women and immigrant-es before.

Finally, another element carectÃrise the "new proletariat" casualization. If before, most of the workers had a more or less stable status, nowadays an increasing share of the proletariat knows the experience of insecurity. We can understand it as a permanent insecurity in relation to its economic status, resulting in vulnerability to employers and difficulty in projecting the future in economic terms. If the proletariat as a whole is not fragile, it is nevertheless a growing share of the latter that becomes.

To conclude, the book draws the outline of a proletariat which, far from disappearing, is well developed. It includes both employee-es of industry than in services, increasing tank operated countless es.

If the book paints a very end of the proletariat, we can nevertheless regrettable that does not articulate enough sociological analysis and framework for action, while still providing an overview searched and relevant on an issue more topical than ever .

Matthijs (AL Montpellier)

Sarah Abdelnour, the new proletariat, "Little Encyclopedia critical" Textuel, 2011
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