Labor resides at the center of all media and communication production, from the workers who create the information technologies that form the dynamic core of the global capitalist system and the designers who create media content to the salvage workers who dismantle the industry’s high-tech trash. The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media is the first book to bring together representative research from the diverse body of scholarly work surrounding this often fragmentary field, and seeks to provide a comprehensive resource for the study and teaching of media and labor. Essays examine work on the mostly unglamorous side of media and cultural production, technology manufacture, and every occupation in between.
Specifically, this book features:
-wide-ranging international case studies spanning the major global hubs of media labor;
-interdisciplinary approaches for thinking about and analyzing class and labor in information communication technology (ICT), consumer electronics (CE), and media/cultural production;
-an overview of global political economic conditions affecting media workers;
-reports on chemical environments and their effect on the health of media workers and consumers;
-activist scholarship on media and labor, and inspiring stories of resistance and solidarity.
Table of Contents
Foreword Janet Wasko Introduction Richard Maxwell I. The Changing Face of Media Labor: Networks, Clouds, and Digitalized Work 1. Labor and Digital Capitalism Dan Schiller 2. Working (or not) in the Cloud: Chains of Accumulation and Chains of Resistance Vincent Mosco 3. Exploitation and Media Labor David Hesmondhalgh 4. Mediations of Labor: Algorithmic Architectures, Logistical Media, and the Rise of Black Box Politics Soenke Zehle and Ned Rossiter 5. Dallas Smythe and Digital Labor Christian Fuchs II. The Chemical Impact on Media Workers 6. The Body Burden – Toxics, Stresses and Biophysical Health Elizabeth Grossman 7. Health and Safety Policies for Electronics Workers Ted Smith and Chad Raphael III. Media Labor around the World 8. Workers of the World, Unite, You Have Nothing to Lose but Your (Global Value) Chains: The NICL Revisited Toby Miller 9. Embracing Communication: China’s Post-2008 Economic Restructuring and Labor Yu Hong and Wei Wang 10. "Free Birds" The New Precariat in India’s Mobile Phone Manufacturing Anibel Ferus-Comelo 11. Behind The Line: Information Privatization and the Reification of Work in the Call Center of a Brazilian State-Owned Telecommunication Company Simone Wolff 12. The Creative in the Middle: Knowledge Workers in a Medium-sized Company in Spain Luis Reygadas 13. The Exceptional Intermittents du spectacle: Hyperflexibility as the Avant-Garde of Labor Security in France Jonathan Buchsbaum 14. UK Art Workers, Class, and the Myth of Mobility Mark Banks and Kate Oakley 15. The Unfunny Tale of Labor and Cartooning in the US and around the World John Lent 16. The Straw that Broke the Tiger’s Back? Skilled Labor, Social Networks and Protest in the Digital Workshops of the World Leon Gurevitch 17. Crisis or Innovation? The Norwegian Journalist between Market and Ideals in the Multimedia Era Rune Ottosen 18. History of the International Movement of Journalists: Shifting Drives of Profession, Labor and Politics Frank Beyersdorf and Kaarle Nordenstreng 19. The Planned Obsolescence of TV Journalism Gerald Sussman and Carey L. Higgins-Dobney 20. Student Media Labor in the Digital Age: MediaNOLA in the Classroom and the University Vicki Mayer and Jocelyn Horner 21. The Work of Wearing Cameras: Body-Worn Devices and Police Media Labor Kelly Gates IV. Activism, Organization, Worker Resistance, and Media Labor’s Future 22. The GoodElectronics Network: Making IT Fair? Pauline Overeem, GoodElectronics with Vicky Anning 23. The Work of the Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral Pedro Reyes for the Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral en Guadalajara 24. Chinese Labor Protest and Trade Unions Jenny Chan, Ngai Pun, and Mark Selden 25. Locating Worker-Generated Content (WGC) in the World’s Factory Jack Linchuan Qiu 26. Labor Messaging: Practices of Autonomous Communication Enda Brophy, Nicole Cohen, and Greig de Peuter 27. The Future of Activism for Electronics Workers Chad Raphael and Ted Smith
Richard Maxwell is Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, City University of New York. His research has focused on international communication and media, political economy and media, surveillance and data protection, and the environmental impact of media. His recent publications include Media and the Ecological Crisis and Greening the Media.
"As globalisation, convergence and digitisation restructure the media industries at dizzying speed, the human effort that enables them has never been more important. Yet up to now this topic has been surprisingly neglected, perhaps because scholars have been daunted by the sheer scale of the interdisciplinary challenge. This collection rises to that challenge, bringing together key world-leading experts to provide an authoritative introduction to media labour right along the value chain, from hardware manufacture to content production to waste disposal. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labour behind the media." —Ursula Huws, University of Hertfordshire, author of Labor in the Global Digital Economy: The Cybertariat Comes of Age
"Media Studies joins the ‘turn to labor’ with this superb volume. Expertly assembled, and as close to definitive as we could hope for. A truly indispensable companion!" —Andrew Ross, New York University
"This is an important and compelling collection devoted to the constant that unites media old and new, digital, and analog, mass and post-mass: the labor upon which they rely, whether this takes place behind the screens, under the ‘clouds,’ offshore, or outsourced. The collection features engaging essays from the top scholars in the field, making it a staple text for anyone interested in the political economy of the media and its implications for democracy, politics, and the environment." —Mark Andrejevic, Pomona College