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Chapter 19

SOCI 1F90 Chapter Notes - Chapter 19: Daily Bread Food Bank, Active Labour Market Policies, North American Free Trade Agreement

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Michelle Webber

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February 25th, 2016
Chapter 19: Globalization, Precarious Work and the Food Bank
At modern welfare states developed during the post-war years the prime focus was on
reducing the dependency of male “breadwinners” and their families on the uncertainties
of markets
Both individually and collectively, these transformations have created a range of “new
social risks” such as precarious employment and social exclusion
As a result of these transformations, traditional social safety systems have been
subjected to increased pressures and challenges, both internally within individual
societies and externally within a global competitive international economy
In the field of welfare reform, there has been a general transformation from passive
programs of entitlement based on need, to active labour market policies with an explicit-
welfare-to-work orientation
The priority is on the first entry into the labour market-any job is a good job-as welfare
recipients are believed to stand as better chance of moving out of poverty and into
“good” jobs if they are already working
This paper begins with a brief overview of the impact of globalization after 1995 on the
composition of food bank users in Toronto, Canada
Canada in a Global Context
It is widely recognized that the development of the global economy, characterized by the
intensification of international economic exchange, represents one of the key challenges
to contemporary welfare states
While globalization per se is neither good nor bad, the dominant form has been that of
neo-liberal globalization in the “Washington Consensus” of markets, flexible labour and a
diminished state role, disseminated through supranational bodies such as the
International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development and embedded through binding trade treaties such as the
North American Free Trade Agreement associated with the promotion of inequality and
the removal of state-funded social protection as sources of “rigidity” in the labour market
There is a wealth of evidence in Canada testifying to deepening poverty and widening
inequalities, notably in earnings and income inequality and increasing part-time, episodic
and contingent work
Over the same period, there was significant growth in “non-standard” or “precarious”
employment such as temporary jobs, part-time employment such as temporary jobs,
part-time employment with atypical hours, own-account self-employment and multiple
job holding
As a result, many workers in precarious jobs have come to rely to a greater extent than
in the past upon social safety nets-both female programs such as Employment
Insurance or social assistance and informal initiatives delivered by voluntary, charitable
and community based agencies
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