Monday, February 2, 2009

From Mark Bousquet's "How the University Works" blog, I found the following interview with graduate student strikers at NYU (who lost when the NLRB ruled against them; NB: this was under the Bush administration). There's several interesting moments in this interview, but I was particularly interested in when the guy in front points, at the end, that while academia is expanding its understanding of what constitutes work (or labor) - affective labor, domestic work, intellectual labor - corporate legal practice is trying to narrow that definition. I'm not sure this is quite accurate, but the point is very illuminating to me. Instead, he perhaps should have pointed out that, as the labor force becomes increasingly non-industrial, it becomes easier for corporations to deny unionization to those facets of the workforce that try to attain it, by denying their status as workers, etc. There are, of course, a number of other social processes involved here; but the point is nevertheless very illuminating (to me, at least.)

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