Discuss one labor/employment example from either part one, two, or three in terms of the characteristics of the working class.

  • According to GPCC, what is “new” about the working class in human history? Describe the construction and anatomy (that is, the characteristics) of the working class.
  • Discuss one labor/employment example from either part one, two, or three in terms of the characteristics of the working class.
  • What does the case of the two janitors indicate about transformations in employment conditions since World War II? What are its implications for the employment conditions of college graduates today and for the “new normal” for labor?
  • What is Taylorism (“scientific management”)? What is its significance for business and for labor?
  • According to the videos, what has been the historical importance of labor unions? But what has happened to labor unions since the 1980s or so, and what are the repercussions for employment conditions?
  • Describe the rise and fall of Jim Crow.
  • What insights doe U.S. immigration in the 1920s provide for understanding U.S. immigration today?

250 word minimum; no maximum word count. Display the word count at the end of your post.


Part 1

  1.  (Links to an external site.)GPCC, chapter two, “The laborer in the culture of capitalism” (pages 36-47 [including the section on “resistance”]

Part 2

  1. “To understand rising inequality, consider two janitors working in top firms, then and now” (Links to an external site.)
  2. “Miami is blooming with skyscrapers. What about the people who clean them?” (Links to an external site.)
  3. “College graduates are working harder but earning less” (Links to an external site.)
  4. “The new normal: Freelancing, hustling and informal labor” (Links to an external site.)
  5. “AI, automation and the future of work: Ten things to solve for” (Links to an external site.)
  6. “New study sheds light on income inequality in Greater Miami” (Links to an external site.) (text and video, 6:30 minutes)

Part 3

  1. “Taylorism [Scientific Management] ABC World News” (Links to an external site.) (video, 4:50 minutes)
  2. “Yes, America is rigged against workers” (Links to an external site.)
  3. “The labor union in United States history” (Links to an external site.) (video, 2:30 minutes)
  4. “What happened to the American labor union?” (Links to an external site.) (video, 2:30 minutes)
  5. “What does Labor Day mean in a gig economy?” (Links to an external site.)
  6. “It’s 2043: We need a new American Dream for the A.I. revolution” (Links to an external site.)

Part 4

  1. “The Atlantic slave trade in two minutes” (Links to an external site.) (text and video, 2:00 minutes)
  2. “Haiti slave revolt: 3 minute history” (Links to an external site.) (video, 3:00 minutes)
  3. “New Orleans: Forgotten slave revolt” (Links to an external site.)
  4. “Racial violence in the United States since 1660” (Links to an external site.)
  5. “If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start with the plantation” (Links to an external site.)
  6. Recommended: “Slavery gave America a fear of black people and a taste for violent punishment. Both still define our criminal justice system” (Links to an external site.)
  7. Recommended: “Myths about physical differences were used to justify slavery—and are still believed by doctors today” (Links to an external site.)
  8. “The rise and fall of Jim Crow” (Links to an external site.) (video trailer, 4 minutes)
  9. “1920s [U.S.] urbanization and immigration” (Links to an external site.) (video, 5 minutes)
  10. “Black women’s labor in America has always been exploited” (Links to an external site.)


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