The article aims at disentangling the existing relation between job precariousness and political participation at the individual level illustrating that the former can be considered an emerging political cleavage. The authors apply an interpretive framework typical of political participation studies to an original data set composed of two groups of young workers (with precarious and open-ended contracts) in a big Italian post-industrial city, Turin. First, applying a confirmatory factor analysis, a typology of three ‘modes’ of political participation – voting, collective action, and political consumerism – is used to reduce data complexity. Second, logistic regressions are deployed to analyze the role played by occupational status, political positioning, and the interaction between the two, on the different modes of political participation. Precarious youth show a higher level of political participation in representational behaviours (voting). Left-wing youth are generally more active than non-left-wing ones in non-representational behaviours (collective actions and consumerism), the impact is more pronounced for precarious young people. Thus, results demonstrate the relevance of occupational status in explaining patterns of participation and invite scholars to promote a dialogue between industrial relations and political participation studies.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 18 September 2018
- Job precariousness
- Political cleavage
- Political participation
- Collective action