The Culture of Soft Work: Labor, Gender, and Race in Postmodern American Narrative

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Hicks, Heather J. The Culture of Soft Work: Labor, Gender, and Race in Postmodern American Narrative. 2008. London, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009.

Immediately relevant: Ch. 1 "'No Good to Anybody': Player Piano, General Electric, and the Consumption of Work."

Ch. 3 "Automating Feminism: Self-Actualization versus the Post-Work Society in Joanna Russ's The Female Man."

Ch. 4 "A Cyborg's Work Is Never Done: Programming Cyborgs, Workaholics, and Feminists in Marge Piercy's He, She, and It.

In addition to another three chapters, the book offers an Introduction, Conclusion, extended Notes, a Bibliography, and Index.

Blurb on Google Books (note reference to Frederick Winslow Taylor, a key figure for this wiki[1]):

American workers over the past half-century have found themselves steeped in management discourses promoting teamwork, synergy, vision, and a host of other concepts meant to inspire an ever deeper commitment to work. The Culture of Soft Work offers an original examination of American writers' responses to these motivational techniques through readings of postmodern novels and a diverse range of other canonical and popular texts. Building on the work of scholars who have investigated the cultural impact of Frederick W. Taylor’s management theory, this study is the first to examine how post-Taylorist management has shaped Americans’ subjectivity and their art. Hicks ably demonstrates that while Taylor hardened work by stamping it with the masculine imprimatur of science, subsequent management theorists reconceived work as soft, emphasizing its emotional, spiritual, and irrational aspects—a transformation that has redefined work as postmodern and retooled the gendered subjectivity of American workers.

RDE, finishing, 6Jun22