Precarious Enterprise on the Margins

Work, Poverty, and Homelessness in the City

Authors: Gerrard, Jessica

  • Draws on and contributes to current debate and research surrounding inequality and marginality within contemporary society
  • Develops the relationship between work and education 
  • Engages with literature regarding the nature of contemporary work, and the centrality of work culture and practice in modern life
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eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59483-9
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59482-2
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About this book

This book explores the contemporary conditions of marginal work within the context of persistent unemployment, poverty, and homelessness in wealthy nations. Drawing from research concerning three cities—Melbourne, San Francisco, and London—Jessica Gerrard offers a rich account of one of the most precarious informal forms of work: selling homeless street press (The Big Issue and Street Sheet). Combining analyses of sellers’ everyday work experiences with theorizations of marginality, working, and learning, Gerrard provides much-needed insight into contemporary forms of entrepreneurial and precarious work. This book demonstrates that those who are unemployed and seemingly unproductive are, in fact, highly productive. They value, desire, and seek practical work experience whilst also struggling to fulfill the basic needs that many of us take for granted. 

About the authors

Jessica Gerrard is Senior Lecturer in Education, Equity, and Politics at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Reviews

“This is a must read for anyone concerned with the reconstruction of labour in contemporary capitalism. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, Gerrard deftly weaves together how the restructuring of labour and the complex yet insidious matrix of inequalities it produces operates through a logic of inclusion via enterprise. Focusing on one of the most insecure yet global forms of work, Gerrard opens out new sociological vistas for understanding the margin and the marginal in the context of intensifying forms of inequality.” (Lisa Adkins, Professor of Sociology, University of Newcastle, Australia)

“This book is an engaging and illuminating encounter with the contemporary conditions of work and learning to work. It brings focused attention to the centrality of work – and now enterprise – in our lives. The ‘encounter’ is framed by seeking to understand the lives and experiences, the aestheticized and gendered performances of enterprise, of homeless sellers of street papers. In doing so Gerrard gives us renewed pause to reflect on those lives and the marginalised circumstances to which they point.” (Peter Kelly, Deputy Head of School (Research and Innovation), School of Education, RMIT University, Australia)

“This book is rich in data that gives a fascinating insight into the lives of homeless street press sellers. It will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the reproduction of inequality through precarious working conditions in the contemporary period and I highly recommend it.” (Tracy Shildrick, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Introduction: Work, Poverty and Capitalism

    Gerrard, Jessica

    Pages 1-26

  • Marginality Reconsidered

    Gerrard, Jessica

    Pages 27-52

  • Homeless Street Press: Historical and Contemporary Connections

    Gerrard, Jessica

    Pages 53-78

  • Time Is Money

    Gerrard, Jessica

    Pages 79-105

  • Being Productive: Working, Not Begging

    Gerrard, Jessica

    Pages 107-129

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59483-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59482-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Precarious Enterprise on the Margins
Book Subtitle
Work, Poverty, and Homelessness in the City
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-59483-9
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-59483-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59482-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 214
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics