Welfare and Precarity

An issue of: South Atlantic Quarterly

Welfare and Precarity
Journal Issue Pages: 228 Volume 115, Number 1 Published: January 2016 An issue of South Atlantic Quarterly
Special Issue Editor: Anne-Maria Makhulu
Over the past several decades, citizens of nation-states have struggled with the weakening of formal benefits designed to provide resources and services to fulfill basic human needs. This special issue tackles conflicting notions of welfare: as a means to ensure individual and collective well-being or as a state’s obligation to provide limited, essential resources, such as housing or medical care, to those perceived to be in need. This narrow definition fits well with the times, coinciding with transformations in industrial production and shifts in work and wage. However, this issue argues that broadening our understanding of human well-being can only enrich how we conceptualize need, care, and interdependency at a moment when individual lives are increasingly framed as fragile assemblages of people, environments, and technologies.

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