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Uncovering Labour in Information Revolutions, 1750–2000
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  • 10 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.463 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: n/a
  • Dewey version: n/a
  • LC Classification: HD6331 .U45 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Labor supply--Effect of technological innovations on--History
    • Information society--Economic aspects--History
    • Working class--Effect of technological innovations on
    • Technological innovations--Economic aspects--History
    • Information technology--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521543538 | ISBN-10: 0521543533)

Discussion of the current Information Revolution tends to focus on technological developments in information and communication and overlooks both the human labour involved in the development, maintenance and daily use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and the consequences of the implementation of these ICTs for the position and divisions of labour. This volume aims to redress this imbalance by exploring the role, position and divisions of information and communication labour in the broadest sense through periods of revolutionary technological change. The contributions range from eighteenth-century German clerical work, through Indian telegraph workers' actions in 1908, computing labour in early twentieth-century US electrical engineering, the impact of containerization and ICT on South-African stevedores and international seafarers, to the development of the computer programmer, labour organization in Silicon Valley, and the role of volunteer work in the early development of the World Wide Web.

• Looks at the human labour involved in the development and maintenance of ICTs • Unique in exploring the role of information and communication labour through periods of technological change in its broadest sense • Contributions range from eighteenth-century Germany to the development of the World Wide Web in the 1980s


Introduction Aad Blok and Greg Downey; Hands and Minds: Clerical Work in the First 'Information Society' Eve Rosenhaft; India's First Virtual Community and the Telegraph General Strike of 1908 Deep Kanta Lahiri Choudhury; Perpetually Laborious: Computing Electric Power Transmission Before the Electronic Computer Aristotle Tympas; Breaking the Buffalo: The Transformation of Stevedoring Work in Durban between 1970 and 1990 Bernard Dubbeld; Compressing Time and Constraining Space: The Contradictory Effects of ICT and Containerisation on International Shipping Labour Helen Sampson and Bin Wu; Letting the 'Computer Boys' Take Over: Technology and the Politics of Organizational Transformation Nathan L. Ensmenger; 'Computers in the Wild': Guilds and Next Generation Unionism in the Information Revolution Chris Benner; Emerging Sources of Labor on the Internet: The Case of America Online Volunteers Hector Postigo; The Place of Labor in the History of Information Technology Revolutions Greg Downey.


'What is fascinating in these accounts is the light they shed on how the identities which result are shaped by the interplay between coercion and resistance, initiative and inertia; how the employers' ad hoc demands for particular discrete skills and competencies are countered by workers' aspirations for coherently demarcated occupations which provide personal identity, development, and status; and how these in turn are shaped by specific histories and geographies … such discussions could not be more timely.' International Review of Social History


Aad Blok, Greg Downey, Eve Rosenhaft, Deep Kanta Lahiri Choudhury, Aristotle Tympas, Bernard Dubbeld, Helen Sampson, Bin Wu, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Chris Benner, Hector Postigo

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