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Available from Oxford University Press

How does the insecurity of work affect us? We know what job insecurity does to workers at work, the depressive effect it has on morale, productivity, and pay. We know less about the impact of job insecurity beyond the workplace, upon people's intimate relationships, their community life, their vision of the good self and a good life. This volume of essays explores the broader impacts of job precariousness on different groups in different contexts. From unemployed tech workers in Texas to single mothers in Russia, Japanese heirs to the iconic salaryman to relocating couples in the U.S. Midwest, these richly textured accounts depict the pain, defiance, and joy of charting a new, unscripted life when the scripts have been shredded. ​

Reviewed in Contemporary Sociology:


"A brilliantly written and important book on work-family challenges in the new economy...Contains contributions from some of the leading work-family researchers as well as several relatively new voices in the field. Chapters are engagingly written and should provide the book with wide appeal to faculty and graduate students interested in the topic...A very engaging book with many interesting contributions from its authors that left me wanting to read more."  Sarah Damaske, Contemporary Sociology.

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Table of Contents

Allison J. Pugh


Chapter 1: The Making of a "Happy Worker": Positive Psychology in Neoliberal Organizations
Edgar Cabanas Diaz and Eva Illouz

Chapter 2: Boomer and Gen X Managers and Employees at Risk: Evidence from the Work, Family and Health Network Study
Jack Lam, Phyllis Moen, Shi-Rong Lee, and Orfeu M. Buxton

Chapter 3: Unemployed Tech Workers' Ambivalent Embrace of the Flexible Ideal
Carrie M. Lane

Chapter 4: Laboring Heroes, Security, and the Political Economy of Intimacy in Postwar Japan
Allison Alexy

Chapter 5: "Relying on Myself Alone": Single Mothers Forging Socially Necessary Selves in Neoliberal Russia
Jennifer Utrata


Chapter 6: Different Ways of Not Having It All: Work, Care, and Shifting Gender Arrangements in the New Economy
Kathleen Gerson 

Chapter 7: Racialized Family Ideals: Breadwinning, Domesticity, and the Negotiation of Insecurity
Enobong Hannah Branch

Chapter 8: Moving On to Stay Put: Employee Relocation in the Face of Employment Insecurity
Elizabeth Ann Whitaker

Chapter 9: Between Gender Contracts, Economic Crises and Work-Family Reconciliation: How the Bursting Bubble Reshaped Israeli High-Tech Workers' Experience of Balance
Michal Frenkel

Chapter 10: Security-Autonomy-Mobility Roadmaps: Passports To Security for Youth
Jeremy Schulz and Laura Robinson 

Chapter 11: Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in the 21st Century
Sarah M. Corse and Jennifer M. Silva

Christine Williams

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