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Employment Precarity and Household Well-Being


The authors of Its More than Poverty focus on how the state of employment has changed over time (Lewchuk et al. 12). Apparently, employers prefer using contracts that do not work with allowances or any form of benefits besides the basic wages. From the report, employment insecurity has become an issue of concern over the years. From this perspective, issues of the employment precarity continue to hamper social and economic progress in the community. The report suggests that income inequality and precarious employment are major reasons why poverty prevalence has become a common occurrence in Canada’s major cities and around the world. PEPSO’s report analyses the rise of precarious employment and characteristics associated with the same. In addition, the report studies the impact of precarity on household well-being, especially on children and the community. In this context, the report provides insightful information on how to change the situation.

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What are the authors trying to argue?

The authors’ main argument is that precarious employment is a disastrous concept as evidenced by the rising cases of social distress (Lewchuk et al. 12). The authors’ arguments are aimed at explaining the increasing poverty levels and unemployment in Canada. The authors state that the introduction of new employment terms, especially contracts and promotion of self-employment, led to precarity. Moreover, the authors reaffirm the relationship between precarity and household well-being. In this context, the organization and well-being of a household depend on the individuals’ employment status (Lewchuk et al. 54). In most cases, at least one member of the household is employed or in semi-permanent employment. On the other hand, the report suggests that precarious employment has a negative impact on society’s socio-economic well-being. In this context, individuals and families find it difficult to raise children without permanent employment.

Therefore, people do not embrace the concept of family and children, especially if only one parent is employed (Lewchuk et al. 70). On the other hand, the authors argue that the prevalence of precarious employment in society is caused by the emergence of semi-permanent job opportunities. For example, charitable organizations that require volunteers to engage community members in semi-permanent employment through the contracts (Lewchuk et al. 82). Since unemployed people prefer a sense of belonging and responsibility, it is easier to accept such terms of employment (Lewchuk et al. 83). However, the authors argue that such situations can be changed through employment reforms (96). For example, the authors prefer the enhancement of social and community aspects as means to support human capital development and employments security (Lewchuk et al. 103).

What sociological concepts do the authors deploy?

The authors advance discussion by applying sociological aspects. Example of such aspects is the discussion of income inequality. From a sociological perspective, income inequality is a critical aspect in determining social and economic stability of a community. On the other hand, income inequality highlights major issues that relate to poverty in the society. The author’s use of precarious employment as a sociological aspect offers insightful highlights into issues of unemployment. In this context, employment precarity index is used as a tool of analysis in matters pertaining to employment precarity. The report emphasizes on the family unit, children and household well-being, and the community to imply the impact of the employment precarity on the society.

How does the article further/broaden/limit your understanding of social class?

The article is critical in broadening my understanding of social class and related issues. The article provides insightful information regarding how the society is impacted by issues of unemployment. The inclusion of a study in the article implies the applicability of the same in other societies faced with similar challenges. The example of precarious employment in Canada is critical in providing a basis for further research on the same topic.

Works Cited

Lewchuk, Wayne, et al. It’s more than poverty. Employment precarity and household well-being. Ontario: Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario, 2013. PDF File.

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