Nice Work If You Can Get It

Author: Andrew Ross
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814776914
Format: PDF, ePub
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2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Is job insecurity the new norm? With fewer and fewer people working in steady, long-term positions for one employer, has the dream of a secure job with full benefits and a decent salary become just that—a dream? In Nice Work If You Can Get It, Andrew Ross surveys the new topography of the global workplace and finds an emerging pattern of labor instability and uneven development on a massive scale. Combining detailed case studies with lucid analysis and graphic prose, he looks at what the new landscape of contingent employment means for workers across national, class, and racial lines—from the emerging “creative class” of high-wage professionals to the multitudes of temporary, migrant, or low-wage workers. Developing the idea of “precarious livelihoods” to describe this new world of work and life, Ross explores what it means in developed nations—comparing the creative industry policies of the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union, as well as developing countries—by examining the quickfire transformation of China’s labor market. He also responds to the challenge of sustainability, assessing the promise of “green jobs” through restorative alliances between labor advocates and environmentalists. Ross argues that regardless of one’s views on labor rights, globalization, and quality of life, this new precarious and “indefinite life,” and the pitfalls and opportunities that accompany it is likely here to stay and must be addressed in a systematic way. A more equitable kind of knowledge society emerges in these pages—less skewed toward flexploitation and the speculative beneficiaries of intellectual property, and more in tune with ideals and practices that are fair, just, and renewable.

Abstractionist Aesthetics

Author: Phillip Harper
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479818364
Format: PDF, Docs
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In a major reassessment of African American culture, Phillip Brian Harper intervenes in the ongoing debate about the “proper” depiction of black people. He advocates for African American aesthetic abstractionism—a representational mode whereby an artwork, rather than striving for realist verisimilitude, vigorously asserts its essentially artificial character. Maintaining that realist representation reaffirms the very social facts that it might have been understood to challenge, Harper contends that abstractionism shows up the actual constructedness of those facts, thereby subjecting them to critical scrutiny and making them amenable to transformation. Arguing against the need for “positive” representations, Abstractionist Aesthetics displaces realism as the primary mode of African American representational aesthetics, re-centers literature as a principal site of African American cultural politics, and elevates experimental prose within the domain of African American literature. Drawing on examples across a variety of artistic production, including the visual work of Fred Wilson and Kara Walker, the music of Billie Holiday and Cecil Taylor, and the prose and verse writings of Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, and John Keene, this book poses urgent questions about how racial blackness is made to assume certain social meanings. In the process, African American aesthetics are upended, rendering abstractionism as the most powerful modality for Black representation.

Labor Rising

Author: Richard Greenwald
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 1595587985
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In early 2011, when Wisconsin governor Scott Walker threatened the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public sector employees, the huge protests that erupted in response briefly put the labor movement back on the nation’s front pages. It was a fleeting reminder of a not-so-distant past when the "labor question"—and the power of organized labor—was part and parcel of a century-long struggle for justice and equality in America. The fight for Wisconsin was a rare moment when the lessons of history, in seemingly short supply, were a vital handhold for the thousands of activists—and citizens everywhere—who sensed that something had gone terribly wrong. This pithy but accessible volume is an attempt to fill that gap, providing readers with an understanding of the history that is directly relevant to the economic and political crisis working people face today. With original contributions from some our leading labor historians, social critics, and activists—including Barbara Ehrenreich, Nelson Lichtenstein, Bill Fletcher, Dana Frank, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Brody, Eileen Boris, and many others—Labor Painsmakes vital connections between the past and present, and then looks forward, asking how we might we imagine a different future for all Americans, not simply the wealthy and privileged.

Stone Men

Author: Andrew Ross
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1788730291
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Story of Palestine's Stonemasons and the Building of Israel "They demolish our houses while we build theirs." This is how a Palestinian stonemason, in line at a checkpoint outside a Jerusalem suburb, described his life to Andrew Ross. Palestinian "stone men", utilizing some of the best quality dolomitic limestone deposits in the world and drawing on generations of artisanal knowledge, have built almost every state in the Middle East except their own. Today the business of quarrying, cutting, fabrication, and dressing is Palestine's largest employer and generator of revenue, supplying the construction industry in Israel, along with other Middle East countries and even more overseas. Drawing on hundreds of interviews in Palestine and Israel, Ross's engrossing, surprising, and gracefully written story of this fascinating, ancient trade shows how the stones of Palestine, and Palestinian labor, have been used to build out the state of Israel--in the process, constructing "facts on the ground"--even while the industry is central to Palestinians' own efforts to erect bulwarks against the Occupation. For decades, the hands that built Israel's houses, schools, offices, bridges, and even its separation barriers have been Palestinian. Looking at the Palestine-Israel conflict in a new light, this book asks how this record of achievement and labor can be recognized.

Common Wealth

Author: Michael Hardt
Publisher: Campus Verlag
ISBN: 3593391694
Format: PDF, ePub
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In der momentanen Krise wächst das gesellschaftliche Unbehagen am Kapitalismus. Viele Menschen fragen jetzt nach einer menschlicheren Alternative des Zusammenlebens. Eine Gesellschaft jenseits von Maximen wie Profit, Konkurrenz und Besitzdenken - ist das möglich? Michael Hardt und Antonio Negri, Autoren des Bestsellers äEmpireä, entwickeln in ihrem neuen grossen Werk einen provozierend optimistischen Gesellschaftsentwurf. Dieser beruht nicht mehr auf dem neoliberalen Gegensatz von Privatbesitz und öffentlichem Eigentum, sondern auf der Idee des Gemeinsamen (äcommonä). Ressourcen wie Wasser, Luft und Pflanzen und immaterielle Güter wie Wissen und Information gehören uns allen. Wenn wir sie teilen, wird der Weg frei für eine gerechtere Gesellschaft, an der alle partizipieren können. Im Streit um das politische Profil des 21. Jahrhunderts bieten die Autoren ein zentrales Gegengewicht zu all jenen, die uns weismachen wollen, dass die derzeitige Politik- und Wirtschaftsform die einzig mögliche sei.