Recently, more and more sociologists, politicians and conflictologists have come to use the term “precariat”. In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a Proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence. This leads to treating the new class as potentially dangerous.
The participants of the round table at the Institute of Mass Communications and Social Sciences (KFU) tried to understand how reasonable these arguments are. The discussion was held by Maria Eflova, deputy director of the Institute, candidate of science in sociology; Anton Krasnov, assistant at Conflictology department; Liliya Fakhretdinova, assistant at Sociology department, whereas the role of a moderator was performed by Yuri Alaev, not a scholar but the leader of Public and Information Center of KFU and the member of Tatarstan Public Chamber.
The discussion began with clarification of general notions suggested by the “father” of precariat theory – Guy Standing. In this perspective, the participants commented on riots in Moscow in May 2013 and, undoubtedly, on the Ukrainian situation. Over the course of the debate, everyone had to agree that precariat theory is diverse as it is determined by all sorts of ideas: left-wing, feminist, general humanitarian and ecological ones. On the other hand, precariat is appealing to masses as its ideas are based on denial of discrimination, nationalistic ideology and solidarity. The discussion will be continued and reasonable feedback from other readers is welcomed.