“Although after years of higher education have allowed me to reflect on the experience and articulate it, these experiences were hardly unique and reflect the harsh, dull reality of millions of workers. It’s not difficult to find these types of critique throughout the world of contemplative thought. I only repeat them here as examples to highlight the point that this kind of criticism of our working life is not uncommon, however I feel that much of this critique does not offer much in the way of realistic ways out of this predicament. I think a key part of overcoming these obstacles is realising that the social position of the worker is the most important category that links these situations and imbues those subordinate to them with common interests to transcend the current system.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 7 of 7
“Using dramaturgical analysis, we see here how the actors need to perform convincingly enough that the audience doesn’t have the illusion of the overall interaction shattered- this is called impression management. Here, positive affect is a goal of the corporation because it increases profits but this extra work, which Arlie Hochschild labels “emotional labour” isn’t considered renumerable work.
This emotional labour not only compounds the exploitation of the worker, as they produce more surplus value for their employer, but it is a more obvious example of the alienation caused by capitalism.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 6
“I believe that the uncritical acceptance of such methods is a result of the inculcation of values of propriety and the normalisation of examination (practices which are so generalised in modern society, they led Foucault to call it “the disciplinarian society”). Having eyes upon you, whether of the state or one’s employer (in reductionist terms, both can easily be conceived as collaborators in class domination, hence enemies/dominators of the working class and so indistinguishable in that regard) is just a part of daily proletarian life in contemporary British society.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 5
“The pathetic value and arbitrariness of rewards at foodchain made the punishment aspect of games the main incentive for competition. Some of these punishments, as discussed in the earlier part of this series, were explicit, however, some were seemingly (and possibly) accidental side-effects. […] Beyond the unfairness of rewards and punishments, and the arbitration involved in the allocation of them, the sales game itself was rigged.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 4
“As it stands right now, there is little to no protection for the average U.S. worker and this lack of protection often leads to a subdued work force that will tolerate any abuse from an employer.
This personal account, while only encompassing employment at one company, has been indicative of my experience in the corporate world of the U.S. and the unethical business practices that have become all too common.” … More Experiences in Corporate America: Workers Rights | Guest Article by writer Dylan Yoki
“At foodchain, the objective of the game was to maximise certain types of additional sales and compete with fellow workers on daily scoreboards, displayed for all workers to see. Falling below a certain threshold cumulative score for the week could result in penalisation and winning meant possible rewards. Domination is more apparent when considering penalisation might include being made redundant, or more perniciously, scheduling less hours of work for the “losing” worker.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 3
“A new study in the Sage Journal of Health and Social Behaviour reports that social class influences US independent psychotherapists’ decisions of whether to offer access to their mental health services. In this article I discuss some limitations which I feel may have been overlooked by the original author however, the authors writing includes important references to the scientific literature and there is plenty of discussion of the limitations of the study not mentioned by me, which show that the author is self-aware, and hopefully this article doesn’t imply otherwise. This work is both important and necessary for researchers of social inequalities and this potential research programme, although in its infancy, should be commended on designing a study which looks cheaply replicable- a rare feat in social sciences.” … More Mental Health Help Access: It helps to be middle-class. | New Empirical Evidence of Social-Class Based Discrimination
” […] The kind of speed and mastery you get from playing an instrument allows you to do more, it unleashes potential, it increases the potentias that makes the soul of a man. The mastery of the pickle placement is like the increasing speed of a robot as technology develops- I don’t want to develop like a robot- I am not Aristotle’s talking tool. […] All of my possible futures, the options for how to be, burn away the more I become the burger robot, and the less human I feel. Theses futures don’t just disappear like usual, potentials for things that could have been but did not, they disappear into a true void of things that could never be and will never be- I am less free. Yet to resist means to quit, not to resign is the biggest sign of resignation.” … More Personal Thoughts | January 2016 | On the Destruction of my (im)Potentias & Resignation as Resistance
“The kinds of policy that would benefit a potential class of oligarchs is easily thought of when considering that their wealth is based on inequality. Policies that allow them to maintain their vastly unequal share of wealth also allow them to keep their vastly unequal share of political power. 3 main policy themes would be in the interests of an oligarchical class to manipulate- international economic policy, monetary policy and tax policy. This evidence shows that these policies currently and historically favour potential oligarchs- the solution is redistribution of wealth, and therefore redistribution of power.” … More Critique of “US is an Oligarchy?” Part 3: Oligarchy and Public Policy
“The following evidence could be quite shocking. These amounts of money are incomprehensible to mere plebs like us. Consider that every citizen has an individual power profile based on the power resources he or she can deploy. The power share of the top tenth of 1 percent of US households may well be sufficient to dominate politics on key issues of most intense interest to that group. They are bound together by material self-interest and political clout, not by social ties.” … More Critique of “US is an Oligarchy?” Part 2: The US case