Precarity of Place: a complement to the growing precariat literature

29 August 2013

The growing precarity literature offers some valuable ways of thinking about both the roots of and responses to precarity, whether defined existentially (as per Butler), economically (Standing) or intersubjectively (Neilson and Rossiter). Yet the term precarity, in its eagerness to encompass all those who experience it, fails to properly capture the challenges of one of its subset populations: that of noncitizens. Rather than discard the term altogether, this paper incorporates elements from the precariat literature and offers a counter (sub)concept: ‘precarity of place.’ The paper briefly reviews the precarity literature, then argues for the importance of a separate term for precarity of place, and then notes how the concepts are well aligned. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research, both theoretical and empirical.