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Company of One Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment

ISBN-10: 0801477271
ISBN-13: 9780801477270
Edition: 2011
Authors: Carrie M. Lane
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Description: "The first time you get laid off you're like, 'Oh my God. What have I done wrong? Obviously I've done something wrong.' And it happens a couple of times for various reasons and you go, 'You know, I didn't do anything, and not only that, this is a  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 2/21/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

"The first time you get laid off you're like, 'Oh my God. What have I done wrong? Obviously I've done something wrong.' And it happens a couple of times for various reasons and you go, 'You know, I didn't do anything, and not only that, this is a bump in the road. Something else will pop up.' And sure enough it always does."-from A Company of One Being laid off can be a traumatic event. The unemployed worry about how they will pay their bills and find a new job. In the American economy's boom-and-bust business cycle since the 1980s, repeated layoffs have become part of working life. In A Company of One, Carrie M. Lane finds that the new culture of corporate employment, changes to the job search process, and dual-income marriage have reshaped how today's skilled workers view unemployment. Through interviews with seventy-five unemployed and underemployed high-tech white-collar workers in the Dallas area over the course of the 2000s, Lane shows that they have embraced a new definition of employment in which all jobs are temporary and all workers are, or should be, independent "companies of one." Following the experiences of individual jobseekers over time, Lane explores the central role that organized networking events, working spouses, and neoliberal ideology play in forging and reinforcing a new individualist, pro-market response to the increasingly insecure nature of contemporary employment. She also explores how this new perspective is transforming traditional ideas about masculinity and the role of men as breadwinners. Sympathetic to the benefits that this "company of one" ideology can hold for its adherents, Lane also details how it hides the true costs of an insecure workforce and makes collective and political responses to job loss and downward mobility unlikely.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Fortitude, Faith, and the Free Market
Silicon Prairie
A Company of One
The Hardest Job You'll Ever Have
Rituals of Unemployment
Man Enough to Let My Wife Support Me
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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