Monday, April 7, 2014

Reading Notes: Class Meeting 4/8/14

Chapter Four:

Modes of Development:

Castells' analysis aims to "unveil the interaction between technology, economy, and institutions in the patterning of employment and occupation, in the process of transition between agriculture, industrial, and informational modes of development" (218).

Castells' describes three economic "modes of development": agricultural, industrial, informational. What other aspects of our culture are impacted by the transformation between these divisions?
All images posted in Wikipedia Commons: Farm, Factory, Servers

Individualization of Work Challenged:

Concludes there is a "fundamental transformation" in our networked society that has led to the "individualization of work and the fragmentation of societies" (217).

Is Castells' argument going to be valid in the future? Are we rejecting the individualization of work and fragmentation as we move from the cubicle to the collaborative work environments?
Cubicle image posted by pixabay. Collaborative space photo by Jasper Sanidad in Jennifer Busch's Interface Blog post

Classification of Services:

Distributive Services
Producer Services
Social Services
Personal Services

Prestige and Inequity:

"Thus, while there are certainly signs of social and economic polarization in advanced societies, they do not take the form of divergent paths in the occupational structure, but of different positions of similar occupations across sectors and between firms"

"Informational societies are certainly unequal societies, but inequalities stem less from their relatively upgraded occupational structure than from the exclusions and discriminations that take place on and around the labor force" (236).

Castells and Friedman:

"There is an historical tendency toward increasing interdependence of the labor force on a global scale...information technology is the indispensable medium for the linkages between different segments of the labor force across national boundaries" (251).

Positions in the Informational Work Place:

Networkers: "set up connections on their initiative"
Networked: "workers who are on-line but without deciding when, why, or with whom"
Switched-off: "workers tied to their own specific tasks, defined by non-interactive, one-way instructions"

Deciders: "make the decision in the last resort"
Participants: "involved in decision-making"
Executants: "merely implement decisions"


Decline of Standard Patterns of Employment and Contingent Faculty:

"flexible work is task-oriented, and does not include a commitment to future employment" (105).

"The social contract between employer and employee: the traditional contract is/was based on commitment by the employer to workers' well-defined rights, standardized level of compensation, options for training, social benefits, and a predictable career pattern...the employee would be loyal to the company, persevere in the job, and have a good disposition to work overtime if necessary" (105).

"This pattern of employment...I will call declining around the world, in favor of flexible work" (106).

Flexible work carries both positive and negative consequences for the worker.

core labor force and a disposable labor force (295)

has a destabilizing effect, vulnerability for the worker

Works Cited:

Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. 2nd ed. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.

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