- Gebundene Ausgabe: 176 Seiten
- Verlag: WW Norton & Co (14. Oktober 1998)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0393046788
- ISBN-13: 978-0393046786
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,8 x 14,8 x 1,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 18 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 167.163 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 14. Oktober 1998
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In the brave new world of the "flexible" corporation, Richard Sennett observes, workers at all levels are regarded as wholly disposable, and they have responded in kind, ceasing to think in terms of any long-term relationship with the organizations they work for. This, he argues, has tremendous negative consequences for workers' emotional and psychological well-being. Even in menial jobs, we extract much of our self-image from the idea of a "career"--a life narrative rendered intelligible by specific loyalties, which is to some degree self-invented but also in some respects predictable. Innovations like "flextime" and bureaucratic "de-layering" seem to promise more freedom to define one's career, but in fact they create jobs in which there's less freedom than ever to be had. The Corrosion of Character is a short, anecdotal book, and while one might wish that it included a discussion of the social and psychological costs of the sheer increase of work time in the average worker's week, Sennett has created a pithy, disturbing picture of the cost of the corporate world's much-vaunted new efficiencies. --Richard Farr
Drawing on interviews with dismissed IBM executives, bakers in a high-tech bakery, a bar owner turned advertising executive and others, the author explores the disorientating effects of the new capitalism in America. This book explores the contrast between the vanished world of rigid, hierachical organizations, where what mattered was a sense of personal character, and the brave new world of corporate re-engineering, risk, flexibility, networking, and short-term teamwork, where what matters is being able to reinvent yourself at the click of a finger.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
I liked Professor Sennet's use of the "achetypes" of Rico, Enrico, the Boston bakers, and especially "Davos man." I felt that the book, however, was deeply pining for a sort of a Marxist worker solidarity consciousness that supposedly existed back in the glory days of unionism. I think that's clear in the next to last sentence of the book. I don't trust his statistical tables, and I wanted him to interview more people, to present the current situation in a more complicated way. These archetypes are only a small portion of the whole picture.
Anyway, I just wanted to speak up about something I thought was a major omission (from my perspective).
But whose fault is this? Sennett seems to imply that workers are passive victims of institutional structure. Such structures, however, are always changing. Workers may be more resilient than he gives them credit for. Personal narratives are probably intact even though many of them are so different from those of, say, their parents as to be unrecognizable. Then, too, in changing times one may simply have to exert more effort to understand and develop a life narrative. On the basis of Sennett's small sample, assuming too much about the workforce as a whole may be unwise. Do foreign service officers, Oklahoma bankers, Iowa farmers, physicians in Oregon, and school teachers in New Mexico suffer from a diminished sense of identity because of the new capitalism?
I felt swayed by Sennett's argument until I read on p. 116 that, "The classic work ethic of delayed gratification and proving oneself through hard labor can hardly claim our affection." In fact, it does. Even under new circumstances, working hard and delaying gratification in order to achieve a larger goal produces a sense of accomplishment, of self-worth. Similiarly, human beings have a way of seeking out or creating the communities they need. If the office doesn't provide it, or the neighborhood, churches and voluntary associations of all kinds do. Some people simply opt out of work situations which do not provide or allow them the kinds of communities they need.
Capitalism is infinitely changeable and dynamic, but most people are quick to see their options. Quicker perhaps than Mr. Sennett.
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