Book Review: Emily Grabham, Women, Precarious Work and Care: The Failure of Family-Friendly Rights (Bristol University Press 2021).

Demir E.

FEMINIST LEGAL STUDIES, vol.30, no.3, pp.1-3, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Book Review
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10691-022-09494-6
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-3


The process of globalisation has had a tremendous impact on the structure of employment: the service sector became vital to economic growth; women’s participation in the workforce increased; “a new economy” centring around flexibility in the labour market emerged (Fudge and Owens 2006, 3). In this new economy, precarious work—which is often poorly paid and thus falls short of sustaining one’s household—became prevalent (Fudge and Owens 2006, 3), and the precariat was born. As Guy Standing explained, precariat—globalism’s child—lacks a work-based identity and income security (Standing 2011, 12). The precariat have “career-less jobs, without traditions of social memory, a feeling they belong to an occupational community steeped in stable practices, codes of ethics and norms of behaviour, reciprocity and fraternity” (Standing 2011, 12). Women comprise the vast majority of precariat; thus they are the majority of those who are temporary, seasonal, outsourced or in zero-hours positions in the UK and beyond. Precarious contracts reduce women’s bargaining power and give managers a high degree of control over shifts, incomes, and renewal of contracts (9).