Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times

Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times

by Andrew Ross
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814776914

ISBN-13: 9780814776919

Pub. Date: 10/03/2010

Publisher: New York University Press

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814776919
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
10/03/2010
Series:
NYU Series in Social and Cultural Analysis Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

I Creative Workers And Rent-Seeking

1 The Mercurial Career of Creative Industries Policymaking in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States 15

2 China's Next Cultural Revolution? 53

3 The Olympic Goose That Lays the Golden Egg 77

II Sustainability and the Ground Staff

4 Teamsters, Turtles, and Tainted Toys 105

5 Learning from San Ysidro 131

III Instruments of Knowledge Capitalism

6 The Copyfight over Intellectual Property 161

7 The Rise of the Global University 189

Conclusion: Maps and Charters 207

Notes 215

References 219

Index 245

About the Author 264

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