Vol 8 No 16 (2018): Varieties of Professionalism in a Globalising World: New Theoretical Perspectives and Analytical Approaches
Open Essays and Researches

The Shaky Social Citizenship of Early-Career Independent Professionals: Work Transformation, Career and Life Uncertainty, Unrepresented Rights

Guido Cavalca
University of Salerno
Published March 12, 2019
Keywords
  • independent professionals,
  • self-employment,
  • social citizenship,
  • uncertainty
How to Cite
Cavalca, G. (2019). The Shaky Social Citizenship of Early-Career Independent Professionals: Work Transformation, Career and Life Uncertainty, Unrepresented Rights. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 8(16), 183-195. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-23228

Abstract

The combination of a segmented and flexible labour market and a fragmented welfare system has given rise to an unprecedented risk of uncertainty for the new generation of independent professionals. Independent self-employment frequently conceals precarious working conditions, low wages and limited protection; tasks, knowledge, networking and creativity are deteriorating, with an evident decline in autonomy often leading to entrapment in poor occupational careers. A qualitative research, involving 72 early-career I-Pros in Milan, argues that the new generation of professionals is undergoing a crisis of social citizenship – since social integration through labour market inclusion, structured representation of interests, welfare protection, are lacking – and it is also showing a “culture of uncertainty”, a day-by-day approach to life and career. Beyond a group of fully integrated I-Pros, most professionals show to suffer from economic and work vulnerability as well as relational fragility, whereas the weakest part of interviewed I-Pros experiences social and professional vulnerability, strong isolation at work and renunciation of personal objectives.

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