Fiction, Film, and Precarious Work
Examines new narratives about work and workers in the age of transnational migration and precarious labor
A free online version is forthcoming
For much of the twentieth-century, the U.S. working class was personified by a white, male, hard-hat wearing industrial worker. In the age of globalization, however, other narratives about the work and workers have emerged. Living Labor examines these stories and, in the process, offers a new reading of American fiction and film through the lens of precarious work. It argues that since about 1980, novelists and filmmakers—including Russell Banks, Helena Viramontes, Karen Tei Yamashita, Francisco Goldman, David Riker, Ramin Bahrani, Clint Eastwood, Courtney Hunt, and Ryan Coogler—have produced narratives that recount the demise of the predominately white, industrial working class, and the tentative and unfinished emergence of a new, much more diverse working population. In bringing together stories of work that are also stories of race, ethnicity, gender, and colonialism, Living Labor challenges the often-assumed division between class and identity politics.
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