chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction

This introduction gives an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book talks about the experience of work, employment, employment insecurity and precariousness, from an anthropological point of view and in a context of high unemployment and crisis in the welfare state of contemporary Greek society. It discusses the way tobacco workers experience their unemployment status after the shutdown of a prosperous and historically important tobacco industry in the centre of Piraeus. The book concerns day labourers in the shipbuilding zone located in Perama, a suburb of western Piraeus, addressing the way that they try to cope with employment precariousness and extended periods of unemployment in the context of local informal activities. It discusses employment insecurity and unpredictable working conditions in a leading bank of Athens, where employees, threatened by harassment from an organisational power structure, strive to maintain and secure their employed positions.