Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World

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Marion Crain, Winifred Poster, Miriam Cherry
Univ of California Press, Jun 28, 2016 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
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"Demographic and technological trends have yielded new forms of work that are increasingly more precarious, globalized, and brand centered. Some of these shifts have led to a marked decrease in the visibility of work or workers. This edited collection examines situations in which technology and employment practices hide labor within the formal paid labor market, with implications for workplace activism, social policy, and law. In some cases, technological platforms, space, and temporality hide workers and sometimes obscure their tasks as well. In other situations, workers may be highly visible--indeed, the employer may rely upon the workers' aesthetics to market the branded product--but their aesthetic labor is not seen as work. In still other cases, the work occurs within a social interaction and appears as leisure--a voluntary or chosen activity--rather than as work. Alternatively, the workers themselves may be conceptualized as consumers rather than as workers. Crossing the occupational hierarchy and spectrum from high- to low-waged work, from professional to manual labor, and from production to service labor, the authors argue for a broader understanding of labor in the contemporary era. This book adopts an interdisciplinary approach that integrates perspectives from law, sociology, and industrial/labor relations"--Provided by publisher.
 

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Contents

The Conceptual
28
Maintaining Hierarchies in Predominantly White
47
disembodied
69
Opposing
87
Race Politics and Invisibility
130
Surveillance Hunger
148
The Invisible Consequences of Aesthetic Labor
193
The Impact
214
branded and consumed
237
Consuming Work
257
Conclusion
279
About the Editors and Contributors
293
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Marion G. Crain is Vice Provost, Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law, and Director for the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital at Washington University.

Miriam A. Cherry is Professor of Law at Saint Louis University.

Winifred R. Poster is a Stanford-trained sociologist affiliated with Washington University.

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