chapter  15
11 Pages

Labour, (in-)dependence, care

Conceptualizing the precarious
ByIsabell Lorey

In the second half of the eighteenth century, the idea of the freedom of labour as independence from conditions of feudal coercion intertwines with the bourgeois idea of freedom as voluntary submission to impersonal laws that apply to all, the self-decreed laws of political democracy. Governing through precarization is no longer fundamentally founded on the gender-hierarchical and heteronormative dichotomy of autonomy and dependency, which was still traditional in the Fordist social welfare state: the dichotomy between male individualization and female familization is breached. Governing through precarization requires specific forms of freedom and independence, which are condensed in the concept of self-responsibility. The Spanish neologism cuidadanía conjoins (state) citizenship with care into a new form of socially, politically, legally, and economically living together beyond the (nation-)state border regime, in which the relationality with others is not to be broken off, but is instead considered fundamental.