The 'Precariat'; Humour in Sociology
Laurie Taylor asks if there is an emerging mass class characterised by insecurity. Also, can social scientists make use of humour without losing their credibility?
The 'Precariat': Laurie Taylor talks to Guy Standing, Professor in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His highly influential 2011 book introduced the 'Precariat' as an emerging mass class, characterized by inequality and insecurity. Professor Standing argues that that the increasingly global nature of the Precariat is leading to the kind of social unrest which carries grave political risks. Marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, he takes his work a stage further, outlining A Precariat Charter which might award greater rights to this new 'class'. They're joined by Dr Lisa Mckenzie, Research Fellow in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Also, whilst humour and laughter have been studied by social scientists, scholars who use wit, jokes and satire may get marginalised from the academy. Cate Watson, Professor in the School of Education at the University of Stirling, argues against this neglect of humour's potential.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.
Find out more about Professor Guy Standing
A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (London and New York, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)