Precarious Asia: Capitalism and Work

Precarious Asia: Global Capitalism and Work in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia is a new Stanford University Press book authored by Arne L. Kalleberg, Kevin Hewison and Kwang-Yeong Shin. It is reviewed for JCA by Jenny Chan.

The book, Chan says, seeks to “explain the rise of precarious work through a systematic comparative study of Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia. The methodological design aims to identify the historical trajectories as well as the similarities and differences in the contemporary transformations in the three nations.”

She concludes:

Kalleberg, Hewison, and Shin are compassionate in addressing the difficult situation
confronting working people in an age of increasing precarity. The forms of precarious work, in their perceptive observation, are expanding, with negative consequences spanning from the intertwined spheres of production to social reproduction such as childbirth, childrearing, and care for the elderly. Their comparative analytical framework will be very useful to scholars and activists who wish to further investigate and monitor the long-term development of Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia from the perspective of employment rights.

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