Why Work?: The Perceptions of a "real Job" and the Rhetoric of Work Through the Ages

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Why Work explores the contemporary cultural construction of work, beginning with the expression, "A Real Job." This volume examines "work" in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, St. Benedict, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Frederick Winslow Taylor, and Mary Parker Follett to answer the question, "Can the concept of work be divorced from the thinker's past?" A final chapter re-examines the core issue in light of the vary concept of "work" and ask one more time "why work?" This work is a result of an Honors seminar at Purdue University.
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About the author

Robin P. Clair is a Professor of Communication at Purdue University. Clair is an award-winning author and researcher, as well as a nationally invited lecturer, who speaks on a variety of organizational communication topics. Stephanie Bell, earned a B.A. in Communications from Purdue University and is a Senior Administrative Assistant for Urban Programming at the Center for Special Concerns, University of Notre Dame. Stephanie Mathes, B.A. in Communications from Purdue University currently serves as the Community Relations Assistant for the Indianapolis Colts. Kyle J. Hackbarth, B.A. in Communications from Purdue University is currently serving in the United States Army, in Baghdad, Iraq as a Forward Observer. Megan McConnell, B.A. in Communications and Political Science from Purdue University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Purdue University Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
196
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ISBN
9781557534545
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Labor
History / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / Labor & Industrial Relations
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"I recommend a book by Professor Williams, it is really worth a read, it's called White Working Class." -- Vice President Joe Biden on Pod Save America

An Amazon Best Business and Leadership book of 2017

Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite—journalists, managers, and establishment politicians--are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having "something approaching rock star status" by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite's analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Williams explains that many people have conflated "working class" with "poor"--but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. They often resent the poor and the professionals alike. But they don't resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality. Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities--just with more money. While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist or xenophobic, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness.

White Working Class is a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force. For anyone stunned by the rise of populist, nationalist movements, wondering why so many would seemingly vote against their own economic interests, or simply feeling like a stranger in their own country, White Working Class will be a convincing primer on how to connect with a crucial set of workers--and voters.

The American dream of equal opportunity and social mobility still holds a powerful appeal for the many immigrants who arrive in this country each year. but if immigrant success stories symbolize the fulfillment of the American dream, the persistent inequality suffered by native-born African Americans demonstrates the dream's limits. Although the experience of blacks and immigrants in the United States are not directly comparable, their fates are connected in ways that are seldom recognized. Immigration and Opportunity brings together leading sociologists and demographers to present a systematic account of the many ways in which immigration affects the labor market experiences of native-born African Americans.

With the arrival of large numbers of nonwhite immigrants in recent decades, blacks now represent less than 50 percent of the U.S. minority population. Immigration and Opportunity reveals how immigration has transformed relations between minority populations in the United States, creating new forms of labor market competition between native and immigrant minorities. Recent immigrants have concentrated in a handful of port-of-entry cities, breaking up established patterns of residential segregation,and, in some cases, contributing to the migration of native blacks out of these cities. Immigrants have secured many of the occupational niches once dominated by blacks and now pass these jobs on through ethnic hiring networks that exclude natives. At the same time, many native-born blacks find jobs in the public sector, which is closed to those immigrants who lack U.S. citizenship.

While recent immigrants have unquestionably brought economic and cultural benefits to U.S. society, this volume makes it clear that the costs of increased immigration falls particularly heavily upon those native-born groups who are already disadvantaged. Even as large-scale immigration transforms the racial and ethnic make-up of U.S. society—forcing us to think about race and ethnicity in new ways—it demands that we pay renewed attention to the entrenched problems of racial disadvantage that still beset native-born African Americans.

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