- Aronowitz, Stanley 1933-
- Feminist work in contemporary academia
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- Critical Pedagogy as Collective Social Expertise in Higher Education
In Post-Work, Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler have collected essays from a variety of scholars to discuss the dreary future of work. The introduction, The Post-Work Manifesto, provides the framework for a radical reappraisal of work and suggests an alternative organization of labor.
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Aronowitz, Stanley 1933-
For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal. Post-Work: The Wages of Cybernation. Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. The faith they lost in institutions—the corporations that have abandoned the city, the police who have failed to keep them safe—has not returned. But Russo and Woodroofe both told me they put stock in their own independence. And so a place that once defined itself single-mindedly by the steel its residents made has gradually learned to embrace the valorization of well-rounded resourcefulness.
The evaporation of work has deepened the local arts and music scene, several residents told me, because people who are inclined toward the arts have so much time to spend with one another. Whether or not one has artistic ambitions as Schubert does, it is arguably growing easier to find short-term gigs or spot employment. Paradoxically, technology is the reason. A constellation of Internet-enabled companies matches available workers with quick jobs, most prominently including Uber for drivers , Seamless for meal deliverers , Homejoy for house cleaners , and TaskRabbit for just about anyone else.
And online markets like Craigslist and eBay have likewise made it easier for people to take on small independent projects, such as furniture refurbishing. Some of these services, too, could be usurped, eventually, by machines.
But on-demand apps also spread the work around by carving up jobs, like driving a taxi, into hundreds of little tasks, like a single drive, which allows more people to compete for smaller pieces of work. These new arrangements are already challenging the legal definitions of employer and employee , and there are many reasons to be ambivalent about them. Today the norm is to think about employment and unemployment as a black-and-white binary, rather than two points at opposite ends of a wide spectrum of working arrangements.
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Most people lived on farms, and while paid work came and went, home industry—canning, sewing, carpentry—was a constant. Even in the worst economic panics, people typically found productive things to do. The despondency and helplessness of unemployment were discovered, to the bafflement and dismay of cultural critics, only after factory work became dominant and cities swelled. The 21st century, if it presents fewer full-time jobs in the sectors that can be automated, could in this respect come to resemble the midth century: an economy marked by episodic work across a range of activities, the loss of any one of which would not make somebody suddenly idle.
But some might thrive in a market where versatility and hustle are rewarded—where there are, as in Youngstown, few jobs to have, yet many things to do. As Martin Ford no relation writes in his new book, The Rise of the Robots , this story might be apocryphal, but its message is instructive. Both are expensive and tightly constrained. But the decline of work would make many office buildings unnecessary. What might that mean for the vibrancy of urban areas?
Feminist work in contemporary academia
Would office space yield seamlessly to apartments, allowing more people to live more affordably in city centers and leaving the cities themselves just as lively? Or would we see vacant shells and spreading blight?
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Would big cities make sense at all if their role as highly sophisticated labor ecosystems were diminished? As the hour workweek faded, the idea of a lengthy twice-daily commute would almost certainly strike future generations as an antiquated and baffling waste of time. But would those generations prefer to live on streets full of high-rises, or in smaller towns? Today, many working parents worry that they spend too many hours at the office. As full-time work declined, rearing children could become less overwhelming. And because job opportunities historically have spurred migration in the United States, we might see less of it; the diaspora of extended families could give way to more closely knitted clans.
But if men and women lost their purpose and dignity as work went away, those families would nonetheless be troubled. The decline of the labor force would make our politics more contentious.
Deciding how to tax profits and distribute income could become the most significant economic-policy debate in American history. But to preserve the consumer economy and the social fabric, governments might have to embrace what Haruhiko Kuroda, the governor of the Bank of Japan, has called the visible hand of economic intervention.
What follows is an early sketch of how it all might work. In the near term, local governments might do well to create more and more-ambitious community centers or other public spaces where residents can meet, learn skills, bond around sports or crafts, and socialize. Two of the most common side effects of unemployment are loneliness, on the individual level, and the hollowing-out of community pride. A national policy that directed money toward centers in distressed areas might remedy the maladies of idleness, and form the beginnings of a long-term experiment on how to reengage people in their neighborhoods in the absence of full employment.
We could also make it easier for people to start their own, small-scale and even part-time businesses. New-business formation has declined in the past few decades in all 50 states.
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One way to nurture fledgling ideas would be to build out a network of business incubators. Near the beginning of any broad decline in job availability, the United States might take a lesson from Germany on job-sharing. Such a policy would help workers at established firms keep their attachment to the labor force despite the declining amount of overall labor. Spreading work in this way has its limits. Eventually, Washington would have to somehow spread wealth, too. One way of doing that would be to more heavily tax the growing share of income going to the owners of capital, and use the money to cut checks to all adults.
Many liberals currently support it, and in the s, Richard Nixon and the conservative economist Milton Friedman each proposed a version of the idea. That history notwithstanding, the politics of universal income in a world without universal work would be daunting. The most direct solution to the latter problem would be for the government to pay people to do something, rather than nothing. It hired 40, artists and other cultural workers to produce music and theater, murals and paintings, state and regional travel guides, and surveys of state records. What might that look like? Several national projects might justify direct hiring, such as caring for a rising population of elderly people.
But if the balance of work continues to shift toward the small-bore and episodic, the simplest way to help everybody stay busy might be government sponsorship of a national online marketplace of work or, alternatively, a series of local ones, sponsored by local governments. Individuals could browse for large long-term projects, like cleaning up after a natural disaster, or small short-term ones: an hour of tutoring, an evening of entertainment, an art commission.
To ensure a baseline level of attachment to the workforce, the government could pay adults a flat rate in return for some minimum level of activity on the site, but people could always earn more by taking on more gigs. Although a digital WPA might strike some people as a strange anachronism, it would be similar to a federalized version of Mechanical Turk, the popular Amazon sister site where individuals and companies post projects of varying complexity, while so-called Turks on the other end browse tasks and collect money for the ones they complete. Mechanical Turk was designed to list tasks that cannot be performed by a computer.
The name is an allusion to an 18th-century Austrian hoax, in which a famous automaton that seemed to play masterful chess concealed a human player who chose the moves and moved the pieces. A government marketplace might likewise specialize in those tasks that required empathy, humanity, or a personal touch. Mastering these skills requires discipline; discipline requires an education; and an education, for many people, involves the expectation that hours of often frustrating practice will eventually prove rewarding. Modest payments to young people for attending and completing college, skills-training programs, or community-center workshops might eventually be worth considering.
This seems radical, but the aim would be conservative—to preserve the status quo of an educated and engaged society. Whatever their career opportunities, young people will still grow up to be citizens, neighbors, and even, episodically, workers. Nudges toward education and training might be particularly beneficial to men, who are more likely to withdraw into their living rooms when they become unemployed.
Decades from now, perhaps the 20th century will strike future historians as an aberration, with its religious devotion to overwork in a time of prosperity, its attenuations of family in service to job opportunity, its conflation of income with self-worth. The three potential futures of consumption, communal creativity, and contingency are not separate paths branching out from the present. Entertainment will surely become more immersive and exert a gravitational pull on people without much to do.
And with or without such places, many people will need to embrace the resourcefulness learned over time by cities like Youngstown, which, even if they seem like museum exhibits of an old economy, might foretell the future for many more cities in the next 25 years. On my last day in Youngstown, I met with Howard Jesko, a year-old Youngstown State graduate student, at a burger joint along the main street.
Critical Pedagogy as Collective Social Expertise in Higher Education
A few months after Black Friday in , as a senior at Ohio State University, Jesko received a phone call from his father, a specialty-hose manufacturer near Youngstown. Around the same time, a left-knee replacement due to degenerative arthritis resulted in a day hospital stay, which gave him time to think about the future.
Jesko decided to go back to school to become a professor. One theory of work holds that people tend to see themselves in jobs, careers, or callings. Those with pure careerist ambitions are focused not only on income but also on the status that comes with promotions and the growing renown of their peers. But one pursues a calling not only for pay or status, but also for the intrinsic fulfillment of the work itself.
There is no universal basic income that can prevent the civic ruin of a country built on a handful of workers permanently subsidizing the idleness of tens of millions of people. But a future of less work still holds a glint of hope, because the necessity of salaried jobs now prevents so many from seeking immersive activities that they enjoy. After my conversation with Jesko, I walked back to my car to drive out of Youngstown. If Jesko had taken a job in the steel industry, he might be preparing for retirement today.
Instead, that industry collapsed and then, years later, another recession struck. The outcome of this cumulative grief is that Howard Jesko is not retiring at It took the loss of so many jobs to force him to pursue the work he always wanted to do. Physical-education programs were designed to encourage health and fitness, but they may be counterproductive.
Usually the drama of an investigation lies in finding out what happened, but the drama of this investigation lies in what happens next. By the end of last week, rumors were swirling about what President Donald Trump might or might not have done to elicit a whistle-blower complaint about his conversations with a foreign leader. The president was refusing to answer questions. It was largely corruption—all of the corruption taking place. Neither Ukraine nor Trump has produced any evidence to support that claim about the Bidens. Trump once again implicitly admitted pressuring Ukraine during remarks at the United Nations Monday.
It refers to the mismatch between a long-standing procedural instinct of the press and the current realities of the Era of Trump.