Volume 11 Issue 2 (2022)

The Precarization of Educational Labor: The Examination of Teachers’ Job Insecurity Perceptions

pp. 60-95  |  Published Online: June 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2022.112.4

Ibrahim Colak, Yahya Altinkurt


Background/purpose – In this study, the precarization of educational labor was identified in terms of teachers’ job insecurity perceptions. The purpose of the study was to examine the job insecurity perceptions of teachers with permanent, fixed-term, or temporary contracts.

Materials/methods – Multiple case design was used in the study. The data of the study were collected from 30 teachers through semi-structured interviews and from 432 teachers using the Teachers’ Job Insecurity Scale, which was developed within the scope of the study. Thematic analysis, descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way ANOVA, Sidak test, and clustering analysis were used in the analysis of the obtained data.

Results – The study’s results revealed that teachers perceived intense explicit and implicit job insecurity. Clustering analyses showed that 69% of the participants perceived moderate and high levels of both explicit and implicit job insecurity, whereas 73% perceived moderate and high levels of general job insecurity. Job insecurity had social, psychological, and educational effects. Justification of insecurity, instrumental use of power against job insecurity, acquiescence of job insecurity, and acceptance of job insecurity caused structuration of job insecurity.

Conclusion – The study’s findings indicate that all teachers should be employed on a permanent contractual basis in order to reduce their perceptions of job insecurity and its effects. The autonomy of teachers within the teaching process should be increased, their employment benefits improved, and they should be economically empowered.

Keywords: precarization, job insecurity, educational labor, teacher


Artun, A. (2014). Sunuş / Sanat emeği [Introduction / Labor of art]. In A. Artun (Ed.), Sanat emeği: Kültür işçileri ve prekarite [Art labor: Cultural workers and precarity] (pp. 11-29). İletişim Yayınları.

Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Bobko, P. (1989). Content, cause, and consequences of job insecurity: A theory-based measure and substantive test. Academy of Management Journal, 32(4), 803-829. https://doi.org/10.5465/256569

Baihaqki, U., & Jahja, R. S. (2019). The influence of years of service to teachers perception on their precarious condition: A survey of non-permanent teachers working at 10 state junior high schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. Journal of Southeast Asian Research, 2019, Article 849196. https://doi.org/10.5171/2019.849196

Bauman, Z. (2006). Liquid fear. Polity Press.

Beck, U. (2014). Risk toplumu: Başka bir modernliğe doğru [Risk society: Towards a new modernity] (K. Özdoğan & B. Doğan, Trans.; 2nd ed.). İthaki Yayınları. (Original work published 1996)

Berntson, E., Näswall, K., & Sverke, M. (2010). The moderating role of employability in the association between job insecurity and exit, voice, loyalty and neglect. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 31(2), 215-230. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X09358374

Borg, I., & Elizur, D. (1992). Job insecurity: Correlates, moderators and measurement. International Journal of Manpower, 13(2), 13-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437729210010210

Bourdieu, P. (2006). Karşı ateşler [Counterfire] (H. Yüksel, Trans.). YKY. (Original work published 1988)

Breevaart, K., & Tims, M. (2019). Crafting social resources on days when you are emotionally exhausted: The role of job insecurity. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 92(4), 806-824. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12261

Burchell, B. (2011). A temporal comparison of the effects of unemployment and job insecurity on wellbeing. Sociological Research Online, 16(1), 66-78. https://doi.org/10.5153/sro.2277

Buyruk, H., & Akbaş, A. (2021). An analysis on the relationship between teachers’ occupational professionalism and their autonomy. Education and Science, 46(208), 431-451. http://dx.doi.org/10.15390/EB.2021.9996

Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2014). Sosyal bilimler için veri analizi el kitabı [Manual of data analysis for social sciences]. Pegem Akademi.

Campbell, I. (2010). The rise in precarious employment and union responses in Australia. In C. Thornley, S. Jefferys, & Beatrice Appay (Eds.), Globalization and precarious forms of production and employment: Challenges for workers and unions (pp. 114-132). Edward Elgar.

Clerc, O. (2009). Invaluable lessons from a frog: Seven life-enhancing metaphors. Dreamriver Press.

Conley, H. (2002). A state of insecurity: temporary work in the public services. Work, Employment and Society, 16(4), 725-737. https://doi.org/10.1177/095001702321587442

Çınkır, Ş., & Kurum, G. (2017). To be appointed or not to be appointed: The problems of paid-teachers. Journal of Qualitative Research in Education, 5(3), 9-35. https://10.14689/issn.2148- 2624.1.5c3s1m

Çokluk, Ö., Şekercioğlu, G., & Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2012). Sosyal bilimler için çok değişkenli istatistik SPSS ve LISREL uygulamaları [Multivariate statistics for social sciences SPSS and LISREL applications] (5th ed.). Pegem Akademi.

Çolak, İ., Yorulmaz, Y. İ., & Altınkurt, Y. (2022). The mediating role of teachers’ critical thinking dispositions in the relationship between their organisational power distance perceptions and autonomy behaviors. e-International Journal of Educational Research, 13(2), 90-107. https://doi.org/10.19160/e-ijer.1076433

Dağ, N. (2020). Teaching profession in the context of precarization. Anadolu University Journal of Education Faculty, 4(4), 365-379. https://doi.org/10.34056/aujef.800680

De Cuyper, N., Baillien, E., & De Witte, H. (2009). Job insecurity, perceived employability and targets’ and perpetrators’ experiences of workplace bullying. Work Stress 23(3), 206-224. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678370903257578

De Cuyper, N., & De Witte, H. (2006). The impact of job insecurity and contract type on attitudes, well‐being and behavioural reports: a psychological contract perspective. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 79(3), 395-409. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317905X53660

Dede, E. (2017). The effects of perceived job insecurity and organizational trust level on organizational citizenship behaviour: A research on public and primary middle school teachers (Publication No. 469541) [Doctoral dissertation, İstanbul Ticaret University]. YÖK National Thesis Center. https://tez.yok.gov.tr/UlusalTezMerkezi/tezDetay.jsp?id=if3SkWjsLzXoV6T4WfcKDg&no=hQ3PhNZj9MXYnUYqPWIwbg

Dekker, S. W., & Schaufeli, W. B. (1995). The effects of job insecurity on psychological health and withdrawal: A longitudinal study. Australian Psychologist, 30(1), 57-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/00050069508259607

De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v31i4.200

De Witte, H., & Näswall, K. (2003). ‘Objective’ vs ‘subjective’ job insecurity: Consequences of temporary work for job satisfaction and organizational commitment in four European countries. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 24(2), 149-188. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X03024002002

Dyne, L. V., Ang, S., & Botero, I. C. (2003). Conceptualizing employee silence and employee voice as multidimensional constructs. Journal of Management Studies, 40(6), 1359-1392. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-6486.00384

Eğitim Bir Sen. (2018). Eğitime bakış 2018: İzleme ve değerlendirme raporu [Education at a glance 2018: Monitoring and evaluation report]. Eğitim Bir Sen Yayınları. https://egitimsen.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Öğretmenlerin-Ekonomik-ve-Mesleki-Sorunlarına-Bakış-Anketi-Sonuçları-Grafikli.docx

Eğitim Sen. (2018). Öğretmenlerin mesleki ve ekonomik sorunlarına bakış anketi sonuçları [Results of the survey of teachers' views on their professional and economic problems]. http://egitimsen.org.tr/ogretmenlerin-mesleki-ve-ekonomik-sorunlarina-bakis-anketi-sonuclari/

Eurydice. (2018). Teaching careers in Europe: Access, progression and support (Eurydice Report). Publications Office of the European Union. https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2797/708723

Feather, N. T., & Rauter, K. A. (2004). Organizational citizenship behaviours in relation to job status, job insecurity, organizational commitment and identification, job satisfaction and work values. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 77(1), 81-94. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317904322915928

Forcella, L., Di Donato, A., Reversi, S., Fattorini, E., & Boscolo, P. (2009). Occupational stress, job insecurity and perception of the health status in Italian teachers with stable or temporary employment. Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents, 23(2), 85-93. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19589289/

Giddens, A. (1999). Toplumun kuruluşu [The constitution of society] (H. Özel, Trans.). Bilim ve Sanat Yayınları. (Original work published 1984)

Greenhalgh, L., & Rosenblatt, Z. (1984). Job insecurity: Toward conceptual clarity. Academy of Management Review, 9(3), 438-448. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1984.4279673

Günerigök, M., & Oğur, K. (2018). The precariat sociology: The case of paid teachers. Religion and Science-Muş Alparslan University Faculty of Islamic Sciences Journal, 1(2), 138-156. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/611583

Gürbüz, F. G., & Dede, E. (2016). The relationship between organizational trust and perceived job insecurity of middle school teachers. The Journal of Turkish Educational Sciences, 14(2), 89-108. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/tebd/issue/28536/304349

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multi-variate data analysis (7th ed.). Prentice-Hall.

Harvey, D. (2015). Neoliberalizmin kısa tarihi [A brief history of neoliberalism] (A. Onacak, Trans.; 2nd ed.). Sel Yayıncılık. (Original work published 2005)

Hellgren, J., Sverke, M., & Isaksson, K. (1999). A two-dimensional approach to job insecurity: Consequences for employee attitudes and well-being. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8(2), 179-195. https://doi.org/10.1080/135943299398311

Holtz, E. (2011). The global student revolt. https://socialism.com/fs-article/the-global-student-revolt/

Jiang, L. (2018). Job insecurity and creativity: The buffering effect of self‐affirmation and work‐affirmation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 48(7), 388-397. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12519

Kahn, J. H. (2006). Factor analysis in counseling psychology research, training, and practice: Principles, advances, and applications. The Counseling Psychologist, 34(5), 684-718. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000006286347

Karabağlı, H. (2018, April 18). Her yıl binlerce yeni mezun öğretmen var anacak hepsi işsiz, atanamıyor, mesleğini yapamıyor! [There are thousands of newly graduated teachers every year, but they are all unemployed, unable to be appointed, unable to practice their profession!]. T24. https://t24.com.tr/haber/chpli-kaya-son-iki-yilda-42-ogretmen-atanamadigi-icin-hayatina-son-verdi,608120

Karadeniz, Y., & Demir, S. B. (2010). A general assessment of contract teacher application. Ondokuz Mayis University Journal of Education Faculty, 29(2), 55-77. https://www.acarindex.com/dosyalar/makale/acarindex-1423910320.pdf

Karanfil, S. M., & Doğan, A. (2020). Mediation role of anxiety in the effect of employee perceptions of job insecurity on organizational citizenship behaviors Alphanumeric Journal, 8(1), 143-162. https://doi.org/10.17093/alphanumeric.588752

Karcıoğlu, F., & Balkaya, E. (2018). Relationship between union membership, union satisfaction and job insecurity: An application on research assistants. Journal of Social Policy Conferences, 75, 307-326. https://10.26650/jspc.2018.75.0017

Kiraz, Z. (2014). Unemployment of teachers in Turkey and analysis of unassigned teachers’ act (Publication No. 370325) [Doctoral dissertation, Ankara University]. YÖK National Thesis Center. https://acikbilim.yok.gov.tr/handle/20.500.12812/84819

Kurt, R. (2019, November 14). Ben yapamadım mobbinge uğramaktan [I couldn't because of mobbing]. Star. https://www.star.com.tr/yazar/ben-yapamadim-mobbinge-ugramaktan-yazi-1493522/

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress appraisal and coping. Springer.

Lei, P.-W., & Wu, Q. (2007). Introduction to structural equation modeling: Issues and practical considerations. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 26(3), 33-43. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3992.2007.00099.x

MacCallum, R. C., Widaman, K. F., Zhang, S., & Hong, S. (1999). Sample size in factor analysis. Psychometric Methods, 14(1), 84-99. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.4.1.84

Marchand, A., & Blanc, M. E. (2011). Occupation, work organisation conditions and the development of chronic psychological distress. Work, 40(4), 425-435. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-2011-1254

Millî Eğitim Bakanliği. (2017). Milli Eğitim İstatistikleri Örgün Eğitim 2016/2017 [National education statistics formal education 2016/17]. https://sgb.meb.gov.tr/www/milli-egitim-istatistikleri-orgun-egitim-20162017/icerik/270

Millî Eğitim Bakanliği. (2020). Milli Eğitim İstatistikleri Örgün Eğitim 2019/’20 [National education statistics formal education 2019/’20]. http://sgb.meb.gov.tr/meb_iys_dosyalar/2020_09/04144812_meb_istatistikleri_orgun_egitim_2019_2020.pdf

Näswall, K., & De Witte, H. (2003). Who feels insecure in Europe? Predicting job insecurity from background variables. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 24(2), 189-215. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X03024002003

Ölçme, Seçme & Yerleştirme Merkezi. (2020). 2020-KPSS Lisans (Genel yetenek-genel kültür, eğitim bilimleri, alan bilgisi ve ÖABT) sınav sonuçlarına ilişkin sayısal bilgiler [Numerical information on 2020-KPSS Undergraduate (General ability-general culture, educational sciences, field knowledge and ÖABT) exam results]. https://dokuman.osym.gov.tr/pdfdokuman/2020/KPSS/LISANS/sayisalbilgiler22102020.pdf

O’Neill, P., & Sevastos, P. (2013). The development and validation of a new multidimensional Job Insecurity Measure (JIM): An inductive methodology. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(3), 338-349. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033114

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2016). PISA 2015 results: Policies and practices for successful schools (Vol. 2). OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264267510-en

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2020a). Education at a Glance 2020: OECD indicators. OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/69096873-en

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2020b). TALIS 2018 Results: Teachers and school leaders as valued professionals (Vol. 2). OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/19cf08df-en.

Ravanera, Z. R., & Rajulton, F. (2010). Measuring social capital and its differentials by family structures. Social Indicators Research, 95(1), 63-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-009-9450-9

Robertson, S. L. (1996). Teachers’ work, restructuring and postfordism: Constructing the new ‘professionalism’. In I. Goodson & A. Hargreaves (Eds.), Teachers’ professional lives (pp. 28-55). Falmer Press.

Rosenblatt, Z., & Ruvio, A. (1996). A test of a multidimensional model of job insecurity: The case of Israeli teachers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 587-605. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199612)17:1+<587::AID-JOB825>3.0.CO;2-S

Rosenblatt, Z., Talmud, I., & Ruvio, A. (1999). A gender-based framework of the experience of job insecurity and its effects on work attitudes. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8(2), 197-217. https://doi.org/10.1080/135943299398320

Ruvio, A., & Rosenblatt, Z. (1999). Job insecurity among Israeli schoolteachers: Sectoral profiles and organizational implications. Journal of Educational Administration, 37(2), 139-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578239910263024

Sennett, R. (2017). Yeni kapitalizmin kültürü [The culture of the new capitalism] (A. Onocak, Trans.; 4th ed.). Ayrıntı Yayınları. (Original work published 2006)

Standing, G. (2016). The precariat, class and progressive politics: A response. Global Labour Journal, 7(2), 189-200. https://doi.org/10.15173/glj.v7i2.2940

Standing, G. (2019). Prekarya: Yeni tehlikeli sınıf [The precariat: The new dangerous class] (E. Bulut, Trans.; 5th ed.). İletişim Yayınları. (Original work published 2011)

Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: a meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(3), 242-264. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.7.3.242

Şencan, H. (2005). Sosyal ve davranışsal ölçümlerde güvenilirlik ve geçerlilik [Reliability and validity in social and behavioral measures]. Seçkin Yayıncılık.

Şimşek, H. (2018). Türkiye'de devlet okulu neden hedefte? Yeni liberal ve yeni muhafazakâr taktikler [Why is public school targeted in Turkey? New liberal and neoconservative tactics]. Gamze Yayıncılık.

TEDMEM. (2022). 2021 eğitim değerlendirme raporu (TEDMEM Değerlendirme Dizisi 8) [2021 education evaluation report (TEDMEM Evaluation Series 8)]. Türk Eğitim Derneği. https://tedmem.org/yayin/2021-egitim-degerlendirme-raporu

Türk Eğitim Sen. (2020). 81 ilde 81 bin ücretli öğretmen çalıştırılıyor [81 thousand temporary teachers are employed in 81 provinces]. https://www.turkegitimsen.org.tr/icerik_goster.php?Id=13456

Ünal, L. I. (2005). Öğretmen imgesinde neoliberal dönüşüm [Neoliberal transformation in the teacher image]. Eğitim Bilim Toplum, 3(11), 4-15. https://www.academia.edu/3306142/öğretmen_imgesinde_dönüşüm

Valibayova, G. (2018). The effect of job insecurity on job stress and job performance: Study on research assistants (Publication No. 522702) [Master’s thesis, Ondokuz Mayıs University]. YÖK National Thesis Center. https://tez.yok.gov.tr/UlusalTezMerkezi/tezDetay.jsp?id=HYYsy7jqnXCv8YQ_FC-2_Q&no=RSqVZYl54mqlWHwxeiwMYw

Vander Elst, T., De Witte, H., & De Cuyper, N. (2014). The Job Insecurity Scale: A psychometric evaluation across five European countries. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(3), 364-380. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2012.745989

Van Knippenberg, B., Van Knippenberg, D., & Wilke, H. A. (2001). Power use in cooperative and competitive settings. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23(4), 291-300. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15324834BASP2304_5

Vatansever, A. (2013). The precarian nights. The futureless white-collar workers’ dream in 21st-century world. EUL Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 1-20. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/euljss/issue/6284/84331#article_cite

Vatansever, A., & Yalçın, M. G. (2016). Ne ders olsa veririz: Akademisyenin vasıfsız işçiye dönüşümü [We can teach any lesson: The transformation of the academician into the unskilled worker] (4th ed.). İletişim Yayınları.

Volchik, V., Klimenko, L., & Posukhova, O. (2018). Socio-economic sustainable development and the precariat: A case study of three Russian cities. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 6(1), 411-428. http://dx.doi.org/10.9770/jesi.2018.6.1(25)

Weston, R., & Gore, P. A., Jr. (2006). A brief guide to structural equation modeling. The Counseling Psychologist, 34(5), 719-751. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000006286345

Yıldız, A. (2014). Türkiye’de öğretmenlik mesleğinin dönüşümü: İdealist öğretmenden sınava hazırlayıcı teknisyen öğretmene [Transformation of the teaching profession in Turkey: From idealist teacher to exam-preparing technician teacher]. In A. Yıldız (Ed.), İdealist öğretmenden sınava hazırlayıcı teknisyene: Öğretmenliğin dönüşümü [From the idealistic teacher to the exam-preparing technician: Transforming teaching] (pp. 13-26). Kalkedon Yayınları.

Yılmaz, K., & Altınkurt, Y. (2011). The views of new teachers at private teaching institutions about working conditions. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11(2), 635-650.

Yorulmaz, Y. İ. (2021). Organizational power distance perception of teachers and its reflections on educational organizations, structural reasons, and structuration (Publication No. 689683) [Doctoral dissertation, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University]. YÖK National Thesis Center. https://tez.yok.gov.tr/UlusalTezMerkezi/tezSorguSonucYeni.jsp

Yorulmaz, Y. İ., Çolak, İ., Altınkurt, Y., & Yılmaz, K. (2018). The validity and reliability study of organizational power distance scale. Trakya Journal of Education, 8(4), 671-686. http://dx.doi.org/10.24315/trkefd.411916

Yorulmaz, Y. İ., Püsküllüoğlu, E. I., Çolak, İ., & Altınkurt, Y. (2021). The relationship of organisational trust with organisational justice, organisational commitment, and organisational citizenship behaviours in educational organisations: A meta-analysis. Education and Science, 46(208), 237-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.15390/EB.2021.9806



► Journal Metrics

  • 8% acceptance rate
  • 3.4 (2023) CiteScore (Scopus)
  • Q2 (2023) CiteScore Best Quartile
  • 0.42 (2023) Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR)

EDUPIJ Statistics from Scopus

CiteScore: 3.4, view Scopus page

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

► Educational Process: International Journal is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 13 Issue 3, 2024)