The Jobless Future: Sci-Tech and the Dogma of Work

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Title The Jobless Future: Sci-Tech and the Dogma of Work
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 1994
Authors Aronowitz, S., & Difazio W.
Publisher Univ of Minnesota Pr
Keywords control, discipline, hierarchy, machine, mechanistic organization, panopticism, technology
Notes hierarchy, panopticism"In the past twenty-five years, computer-mediated work, despite its potential for reintegrating design and execution, has been employed, typically but not exclusively, in a manner that reproduces the hierarchies of managerial authority. The division between intellectual and manual labor and the degradation of manual labor that was characteristic of the industrializing era have been simultaneously shifted to the division between the operators and the professional-managerial employees, but also the division between the "lower" operating and "higher" expert orders broadly reproduces within intellectual labor itself the old gulf separating manual and intellectual labor in the mechanical era. Hierarchy is frequently maintained despite the integrative possibilities of the technology. Under this regime of production, the computer provides the basis for greatly extending the system of discipline and control inherited from nineteenth-century capitalism. Many corporations have used it to extend their Panopticonic world-view; that is, they have deployed the computer as a means of employee surveillance that far exceeds the most imperious dreams of the Panopticon's inventor, Jeremy Bentham, or any nineteenth- or early twentieth-century capitalist." (p. 89)
machineThe incorporation of machines into the labor process in order to make the activity of laboring easier has failed to restore laborers to their humanity. Instead it has further subordinated workers to the machine and to the forces of nature by imposing a regime in which the process of re(production) mimics the physical processes of animal existence and dominates life." (p. 333)