Inequalities, precariousness and education: Schooling precarious workers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the precarious nature of education in a neoliberal economy. It argues that in an ‘age of insecurity’, education systems can often exacerbate social inequalities, with a tendency to mirror neoliberal labour markets and bow down to its needs and economic requirements. The chapter looks at the relationships between education, neoliberalism and the labour market, examining how schooling is shaped to fit the needs of a precariat labour market. It outlines the nature of the precariat, precarious work and the emerging ‘gig economy’, defined as ‘selling humans as service’, but also ignoring ‘traditional employment law protection’. After examining the problems with precariousness, the chapter looks at ways in which education may provide a route to escaping precariousness and the prospects for precarious workers from varied ages, gender and disabilities. One underlying theme and adverse side effect of the neoliberal model is that countries increase labour-market flexibility and from this results precariousness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Education and Economics
Subtitle of host publicationKey Debates and Critical Perspectives
EditorsJessie Bustillos Morales, Sandra Abbeglan
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429020933
ISBN (Print)9780367074654
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2020

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    Mcdonough, B. (2020). Inequalities, precariousness and education: Schooling precarious workers. In J. Bustillos Morales, & S. Abbeglan (Eds.), Understanding Education and Economics: Key Debates and Critical Perspectives Routledge.