The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Temple University Press, Jan 7, 2011 - Business & Economics - 212 pages
4 Reviews

Everyone knows that work in America is not what it used to be. Layoffs, outsourcing, contingent work, disappearing career ladders—these are the new workplace realities for an increasing number of people. But why? In The Temp Economy, Erin Hatton takes one of the best-known icons of the new economy—the temp industry—and finds that it is more than just a symbol of this degradation of work. The temp industry itself played an active role in this decline—and not just for temps. Industry leaders started by inventing the "Kelly Girl," exploiting 1950s gender stereotypes to justify low wages, minimal benefits, and chronic job insecurity. But they did not stop with Kelly Girls. From selling human"business machines" in the 1970s to "permatemps" in the 1990s, the temp industry relentlessly portrayed workers as profit-busting liabilities that hurt companies' bottom lines even in boom times. These campaigns not only legitimized the widespread use of temps, they also laid the cultural groundwork for a new corporate ethos of ruthless cost cutting and mass layoffs.

Succinct, highly readable, and drawn from a vast historical record of industry documents, The Temp Economy is a one-stop resource for anyone interested in the temp industry or the degradation of work in postwar America.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America

User Review  - Tequila - Goodreads

Excellent book, very interesting historical data. Disappointed that the footnotes are not linked in the Kindle edition. Proactive conclusions section. Read full review

Review: The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America

User Review  - Goodreads

Excellent book, very interesting historical data. Disappointed that the footnotes are not linked in the Kindle edition. Proactive conclusions section. Read full review

Contents

The Temp Economy
1
1 The Making of the Kelly Girl
19
2 The Invention of the SemiPermanent Employee
49
3 The Transformation of Work
81
4 Boxing In the Temp Industry
105
A Model of Work for the TwentyFirst Century
143
A Note on Sources
153
Notes
157
Index
207
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Erin Hatton is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at SUNY Buffalo.

Bibliographic information