Violent proletarianisation : social murder, the reserve army of labour and social security ‘austerity’ in Britain

Grover, Christopher Geoffrey (2019) Violent proletarianisation : social murder, the reserve army of labour and social security ‘austerity’ in Britain. Critical Social Policy, 39 (3). pp. 335-355. ISSN 0261-0183

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This article examines social security policy for working age people in Britain in the ‘age of austerity’. Drawing upon critical approaches to understanding social policy and violence, the article argues that severe cuts to benefits and the ratcheting up of conditionality for, and the sanctioning of, benefit recipients can be understood as ‘violent proletarianisation’ – using socio-economic inequality and injustice to force the commodification of labour power, and a consequential creation of diswelfares that are known and avoidable. The article suggests that violent proletarianisation is a contradictory process, one that helps constitute the working class, but in a way that socially murders some of its reserve army members.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Critical Social Policy
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Critical Social Policy, 39(3) 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Critical Social Policy page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? austerity policiescutsbenefitsworklessnessdeathharmwage-labourproletarianisationclasscommodificationlabour powerpovertysurplus populationpolitical science and international relations ??
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Deposited On:
07 Jan 2019 15:33
Last Modified:
16 Jun 2024 23:55