Precarious Employment, Precarious Life? A Qualitative Study Exploring the Perspective of Households.

Kim Bosmans , Vrije Universiteit Brussel

In the current political-economical context, labour market flexibility is increasingly presented as a pursuable goal. This provoked the growth of insecure and precarious forms of employment. The impact of precarious employment on workers' health and wellbeing is a topic of growing interest in scientific research. However, research - especially qualitative research - on the broader impact of precarious employment on the life course, family and social life is rare. Only a handful of studies investigated the impact on family and social life. In doing so, these studies usually adopt the perspective of the 'precarious worker', while a multi-actor perspective - involving other household members - would make more sense. Such an approach is largely absent, especially in Western Europe. Therefore, this study adopts a multi-actor perspective while investigating how households understand the interrelationship between two life spheres: (1) the employment constellation at the household level characterised by different forms and extents of precarious employment and (2) the life course (e.g. life planning, family transitions), family and social life of household members. The focus is on households with at least one precarious worker, employed in temporary agency employment, in Flanders (Belgium). Qualitative methods, including in-depth individual and household interviews with different household members are used.

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 Presented in Session 97. Economic Precariousness and the Family