In-work poverty in consumer culture: a contradiction of our times?

  • Joelle Donaldson


In recent years, many theorists (Bauman 2005, Fisher 2008, Fukuyama 1992) have acknowledged a marked shift in social structures across the globe. New trends in late modernity have demanded fresh tools of understanding to keep pace with the late/post-modern world. The purpose of this critical reflection is to demonstrate and apply several of these relatively new interpretations of the social world to a current and specific social phenomenon. I hope to do this by arguing that for poor, low-skill service workers in Britain today conditions are rapidly declining, seemingly reverting or regressing us back to the days of liberal capitalism. I will use concepts such as post-Fordism, risk, consumerism and surveillance to explain how and why this might be occurring.