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American Anthropologist

Precarious Subjects: Anticipating Neoliberalism in Northern Italy's Workplace

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Abstract

ABSTRACT  In Italy, the term precarizzazione (precarious-ization) refers to the process of implementing neoliberal policies to transition toward a semipermanent and privatized labor regime but also to the normalization of psychic uncertainty and hypervigilance of worker-citizens. In this article, I examine “precarious workers” and a psychological harassment called “mobbing,” specifically, and suggest that these practices of labor exclusion of a transitional work regime produce emergent subjectivities through an analytics of anticipation. I illustrate the social, political, and psychic effects of imagining neoliberalism, as Italians do in this context, not as complete but, rather, as a metadiscursive object of emotionally charged apprehension and anticipation.

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