Division II: Insecure employment participation

The core themes of the Divisions II to IV are the results of a pragmatic selection based on the findings and interpretations of the first report; later reports can (and should) choose other core themes. Each division deals with one currently essential problem arising from the changes in the mode of social participation. Within the analysis of these problems different dimensions of individual participation are set into relation to each other.

In the contributions to Division II the new insecurity in gainful employment takes centre stage. The social model of the post-war period had transformed (dependent) wage labour from a position of insecurity into a secured status safeguarded by the welfare state. Nowadays it is being retransformed into a position of insecure participation. That is also the reason why the political formula that a workplace is the best safeguard against exclusion, no longer applies for an increasing portion of the working population. One chapter provides key figures regarding society’s segmentation into zones of secure, insecure and a lack of labour participation. In a further chapter the security and insecurity of employment, income and qualification are analysed as socioeconomic outcomes of strategies located at the enterprise and factory level. Afterwards the unequal participation in gainful employment is looked at from the perspective of the utilisation of manpower and the organisation of labour. Finally, insecure participation in gainful employment is being addressed as a new social condition arising from a combination of two insecurities: Participation by being part of the labour market is as precarious as the participation through drawing social security. This is mirrored for instance by socially ‘downgrading’ unemployment insurance (Social Act III) to public welfare (Social Act II). The social segment of ‘the superfluous to the labour market’ has to be investigated in connection with problematic conditions in other areas of participation (e.g. deficiencies in short-distance relationships, precarious educational backgrounds).