In "Post-Work", Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler have collected essays from a variety of scholars to discuss the dreary future of work. The introduction, 'The Post-Work Manifesto', provides the framework for a radical reappraisal of work and suggests an alternative organization of labor. The provocative essays that follow focus on specific issues that are key to our reconceptualization of the notion and practice of work, with coverage of the fight for shorter hours, the relationship between school and work, and the role of welfare, among others.
Armed with an interdisciplinary approach, Post-Work looks beyond the rancorous debates around welfare politics and lays out the real sources of anxiety in the modern workplace. The result is an offering of hope for the future--an alternative path for a cybernation, where the possibility of less work for a better standard of living is possible.
Where labor history and critical analysis of economic trends circulate, this interdisciplinary collection of essays (some original, others first presented at a conference sponsored by the Center for Cultural Studies--which sociologist Aronowitz heads--at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York) should find interested readers. Convinced that the labor movement's abandonment of shorter working hours as a goal laid the groundwork for the travails of our current globalized, downsized, outsourced workplaces, the authors discuss poverty, welfare policy, the recurring notion of a guaranteed income, "Why There Is No Movement of the Poor," the education-to-work controversy, attacks on the university tenure system, complex effects of computers on the positions of white-collar workers, and the difficulty of incorporating cultural concerns, including leisure time and other quality-of-life issues, into the dominant, rabidly free-market discourse of political economy. A demanding book but full of useful insights (Mary Carroll, Booklist)