Brooklyn Rail About The History Of Automation
1.Read + Find/Summarize an article
For this Discussion, please begin by reading at least 3 of the following “popular” articles, all of which are related (either directly or indirectly) to the theme of our course:
—this Pacific Standard (Links to an external site.) article on the causes of the decline of labor unions in the US;
—this New York Review of Books (Links to an external site.) article on delivery Apps and delivery workers;
—this Pew Research Center (Links to an external site.) article on the decline of manufacturing jobs in the US (even as productivity/output has grown);
—this Science Magazine (Links to an external site.) article about university graduate students’ attempts to unionize;
—this VOX (Links to an external site.) article about the new California law, AB 5 (you might also check out this even more recent Tech Crunch (Links to an external site.) article about the response to AB 5 from Uber and Postmates);
—this essay (Links to an external site.) by Jason Smith in the Brooklyn Rail about the history of automation.
Once you’ve read these articles, choose something from one of them that stood out or interested you. This could be a keyword from the article, a problem the article discussed, a policy or law that was mentioned, a court case…anything. Next, plug this keyword, term, or phrase into Google and find a different “popular” article—i.e., an article from a source like the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the LA Times, the Guardian, NPR, etc.—that deals with this keyword or a related subject. Read the article and then write a brief, 6-8 sentence summary of it. Make sure that you describe the central problem that your article addresses as clearly as possible! Then post the link to the article as well as your summary below.
(If you read the articles above and would prefer to explore/research something else—i.e., a key word that sparked your interest during our class meetings, or one of the Vocabulary terms, or something from the chapters of Temp that we’ve read—go for it! The important thing is that you start exploring “problems” related to the theme of our course.)
For each chapter of Temp that we read over the weekend—i.e., Chapters 1, 2, and 3—please write a brief, 200–250-word synopsis. You might consider answering the following questions: What are the main historical events that Hyman discusses in the chapter? What is the chapter’s main theme? Does Hyman write about any problems that you find interesting or that seem worth exploring further? What seems to be each chapter’s main argument, and how does this argument relate to the argument of the book as a whole?
My advice is to treat these synopses both as a helpful way to remember what takes place in each chapter of Temp and as a way to begin thinking about the kinds of questions you might want to address in your Contexts Project….
Please write 2-3 sentences in which you define the 10 terms, laws, policies, practices, institutions, and historical movements/moments/processes listed below. Please do not simply copy-and-paste the first few sentences of the Wikipedia article (though Wikipedia might be where you start your research). Try to go deeper. What is the most important thing for you to understand about these terms? How do they relate to Hyman’s argument in Temp? For the historical terms, do they point toward a pressing political/social/economic problem that exists in the present? If so, which one(s)?
As with Vocabulary I, the point of this assignment is to begin building a vocabulary so that we can understand the context for the argument that Hyman is making in Temp. The more fully you understand these terms now, the easier the reading (and your research, too) will become!
1) Wage Stagnation in the U.S.
2) M-Form Corporation (Multidivisional Corporation)
3) Section 7(a) of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933
4) United Auto Workers strike (1936 and 2019!)
5) AB 5 (new California law)
6) Bracero Program
7) Taft-Hartley Act of 1947
8) Fight for $15 Movement
9) Jobless Recoveries
10) Universal Basic Income