The twenty-first century workplace compels Americans to be more flexible. To embrace change, work with unpredictable schedules, be available 24/7, and take charge of one's own career. What are the wider implications of these pressures for workers' lives? How do they conceive of good work and a good life amid such incessant change?
In The Disrupted Workplace, Benjamin Snyder examines how three groups of American workers—financial professionals, truck drivers, and unemployed job seekers—construct moral order in a capitalist system that demands flexibility. Based on seventy in-depth interviews and three years of participant observation, he argues that the flexible economy transforms how workers experience time. New scheduling techniques, employment strategies, and technologies disrupt the flow and trajectory of working life, which makes the workplace a site of perplexing moral dilemmas. Work can feel both liberating and terrorizing, engrossing in the short term but unsustainable in the long term.
Through a vivid portrait of real workers' struggles to adapt their lives to constant disruption, Benjamin Snyder mounts a compelling critique of the costs of the flexible economy.