16:00 - 16:30
Welcome to the Entreprecariat - Disrupting Precarization

Short thesis

The entreprecariat refers to the reciprocal influence of an entrepreneurialist regime and pervasive precarity. Entrepreneurship spilled out of strictly entrepreneurial jobs requiring ordinary people to behave like entrepreneurs. Similarly, precarity became paradigmatic of society as a series of diverse yet analogous conditions, both material and immaterial. Precarity and entrepreurialism form the social atmosphere. Is it possible to turn entrepreneurship into a means of addressing precarization?


According to Guy Standing, "the global precariat is not yet a class in the Marxian sense, being internally divided and only united in fears and insecurities. But it is a class in the making, approaching a consciousness of common vulnerability". Similarly, the entreprecariat is a category under construction. And, as such, it can and should be oriented. The entreprecariat can reclaim pleasure and foster solidarity. It can rediscover empathy and protect conviviality. It can reappropriate time and differentiate it. It can pivot identity out of career and reduce the burden of work ethic. It can and should enlarge our short intention spans to build a common understanding of what stability might mean today.

How to do so? The short-term objective is externalization: entreprecarity is first and foremost a worldview, an interpretation of reality that orients our behaviors. This worldview, that is at once embedded in the technological apparatus and incorporated by individuals, should be externalized. Precarity is hidden and disguised. It’s not a label people use to define themselves. While in the Netherlands "the precariat" is mostly an academic term, in Italy the term is constantly used by news media with a not-so-veiled negative emphasis. You don’t hear people say "I’m a proud member of the precariat". In order to tackle precarity, openness and social cohesion are necessary. The term "precariat" doesn’t work because it doesn’t produce a gratifying sense of belonging.

We need 'ironic attachment' to recombine our collective understanding of precarious conditions. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams maintain that "changing the cultural consensus about the work ethic will mean taking actions at an everyday level, translating these medium-term goals into slogans, memes and chants." Mocking the daily grinds of self-entrepreneurship and bitingly diagnosing the miseries of precarity, the entreprecariat must produce its own slogan, memes and chants.