Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mary Anglin


The proliferation of precarious work represents a sea change in the opportunity structure of the new economies of the American South. As the role of the State has shifted from guarantor of rights and services to anxious custodian of economic liberalization, Americans have been enjoined to shoulder ever-larger shares of the responsibilities and risks associated with wage labor. As a result, the working poor have been left to weather the vicissitudes of the unfettered market with the increasingly paltry social membership guaranteed through waged employment. Among the risks now frequently assumed by individuals, are the responsibilities of health.

In the absence of this social support, the working poor increasingly rely on the rationed healthcare of the safety-net. It is in this setting that the indigent and uninsured must seek care for the social suffering that results from precarity—the experiential condition of sustained economic and existential uncertainty. This dissertation examines how uninsured working poor residents of Spartanburg, South Carolina endure and embody precarious labor arrangements with the safety net care they are relegated to.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)