Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 95–111 | Cite as

The Ethics and Politics of Precarity: Risks and Productive Possibilities of a Critical Pedagogy for Precarity

  • Michalinos ZembylasEmail author


This paper discusses Butler’s theory on the possibility of precarity to serve as the nexus of ethical relations, while also exploring some of the pitfalls of her theorization to reconceptualize the pedagogical implications of a critical pedagogy for precarity. In particular, the paper asks: How can precarity—understood as an ambivalent concept, as a paradoxical nexus of both possibilities and constraints—function pedagogically in a way that challenges its moralization? How can educators engage with precarity in ways that ‘re-frame’ it so that both the dangers and prospects of ethics and politics of precarity are properly acknowledged and critically interrogated in pedagogical practice? The risks and possibilities of a critical pedagogy for precarity are addressed, highlighting that there are several complexities involved as much as there are opportunities for ethical transformation and political action in school and beyond.


Judith Butler Precarity Critical pedagogy for precarity Ethics Politics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Open University of CyprusLatsiaCyprus
  2. 2.Nelson Mandela University (NMU)Port ElizabethSouth Africa

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