Changing Work, Changing Workers: Critical Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Skills
Glynda A. Hull
SUNY Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 392 pages
Changing Work, Changing Workers looks at U.S. factories and workplace education programs to see what is expected currently of workers. The studies reported in Hull's book draw their evidence from firsthand, sustained looks at workplaces and workplace education efforts. Many of the chapters represent long-term ethnographic or qualitative research. Others are fine-grained examinations of texts, curricula, or policy. Such perspectives result in portraits that honor the complex nature of work, people, and education.
For example, one chapter examines the shop floor of a computer manufacturer in Silicon Valley and shows how well-intentioned organizational changes, such as the imposition of self-directed work teams, often go awry, particularly in multicultural workplaces. Another chapter provides the history of a federally funded literacy project designed for garment workers in New York City, documenting the struggles and achievements that accompanied this attempt to prepare immigrants for alternatives to work in a rapidly downsizing industry. Other settings and topics include a community college where minority women are prepared for the skilled trades; an auto-accessory plant with a "pay-for-knowledge" training program; a union-based literacy program designed for hospital workers; and the popular vocational curriculum called "applied communications."
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