How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation / Edition 1

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Overview

As much as we think we know about the modern university, very little has been said about what it's like to work there. Instead of the high-wage, high-profit world of knowledge work, most campus employees—including the vast majority of faculty—really work in the low-wage, low-profit sphere of the service economy. Tenure-track positions are at an all-time low, with adjuncts and graduate students teaching the majority of courses. This super-exploited corps of disposable workers commonly earn fewer than $16,000 annually, without benefits, teaching as many as eight classes per year. Even undergraduates are being exploited as a low-cost, disposable workforce.

Marc Bousquet, a major figure in the academic labor movement, exposes the seamy underbelly of higher education—a world where faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates work long hours for fast-food wages. Assessing the costs of higher education’s corporatization on faculty and students at every level, How the University Works is urgent reading for anyone interested in the fate of the university.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Bousquet takes an uncompromising look at the way colleges employ those who teach—and how many professors have done nothing as tenured positions have been replaced with adjunct slots.”-Inside Higher Ed
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814799758
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Cultural Front Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 281
  • Sales rank: 1,026,433
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Bousquet is Associate Professor of English at Santa Clara University and the founding editor of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor. His previous books include Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers and The Politics of Information: The Electronic Mediation of Social Change.

Cary Nelson is Jublilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the national president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Among his twenty-five books are Manifesto of a Tenured Radical (also published by NYU) and the landmark coedited collection Cultural Studies.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword: Resistance Is Not Futile
Cary Nelson
1 Introduction: Your Problem Is My Problem
2 The Informal Economy of the “Information University”
3 The Faculty Organize, But Management Enjoys Solidarity
4 Students Are Already Workers
5 Composition as Management Science
6 The Rhetoric of “Job Market” and the Reality of the Academic Labor System
Appendix A: Yeshiva University
“Justice Brennan, Dissenting”
Appendix B: Brown University
“Liebman and Walsh, Dissenting”
Notes
Works Cited
Index
About the Authors

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