The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1998 - Business & Economics - 176 pages

A Business Week Best Book of the Year.... "A devastating and wholly necessary book."—Studs Terkel, author of Working

In The Corrosion of Character, Richard Sennett, "among the country's most distinguished thinkers . . . has concentrated into 176 pages a profoundly affecting argument" (Business Week) that draws on interviews with dismissed IBM executives, bakers, a bartender turned advertising executive, and many others to call into question the terms of our new economy. In his 1972 classic, The Hidden Injuries of Class (written with Jonathan Cobb), Sennett interviewed a man he called Enrico, a hardworking janitor whose life was structured by a union pay schedule and given meaning by his sacrifices for the future. In this new book-a #1 bestseller in Germany-Sennett explores the contemporary scene characterized by Enrico's son, Rico, whose life is more materially successful, yet whose work lacks long-term commitments or loyalties. Distinguished by Sennett's "combination of broad historical and literary learning and a reporter's willingness to walk into a store or factory [and] strike up a conversation" (New York Times Book Review), this book "challenges the reader to decide whether the flexibility of modern capitalism . . . is merely a fresh form of oppression" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Praise for The Corrosion of Character: "A benchmark for our time."—Daniel Bell "[A]n incredibly insightful book."—William Julius Wilson "[A] remarkable synthesis of acute empirical observation and serious moral reflection."—Richard Rorty "[Sennett] offers abundant fresh insights . . . illuminated by his concern with people's struggle to give meaning to their lives."—[Memphis] Commercial Appeal
 

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THE CORROSION OF CHARACTER: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism

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The roots of a modern tragedy are exposed. Today's workplace is not what it once was. Gone are the days of corporate loyalty and rewarding seniority found in the immediate post-WWII work environment ... Read full review

The corrosion of character: the personal consequences of work in the new capitalism

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From a writer with great credentials (New York University and the London School of Economics). Read full review

Contents

Drift
15
Routine
32
Flexible
46
Illegible
64
Risk
76
The Work Ethic
96
Failure
114
The Dangerous Pronoun
130
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Richard Sennett's books include The Corrosion of Character, Flesh and Stone, and Respect. He was the founding director of the New York Institute for the Humanities and now teaches sociology at New York University and at the London School of Economics.

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