ABOUT THIS BOOK
Caught in the whirlwind of the postindustrial revolution, many members of today’s labor force look upon the changing job landscape and feel displaced and devalued. Robert Sessions and Jack Wortman have compiled this selection of humanities readings to explore the many ways that work shapes and defines us, and to anticipate the ever-changing demands of the contemporary workplace. Although the humanities approach to studying work offers no predictions, statistics, or prognostications, it provides images and visions that aid in understanding the multiple meanings, values, and effects of work. Working in America is organized into three sections. Section I examines in detail the personal dimensions that underlie our experiences of work. Its purpose is to help the reader imagine, conceptualize, and deal with issues concerning work. Here the focus is on immediate experiences of work. Section II is concerned with broader social and historical questions and offers a brief look at some of the historical foundations (ancient Greece, medieval Europe, modern times) of contemporary work. Section III presents images of working from other cultures that will challenge the reader to imagine what work will be like in the coming decade—how it will affect our identities and personalities—based on our knowledge of the past and our view of other cultures.
Robert Sessions is professor of philosophy and humanities at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Co-editor and colleague Jack Wortman is professor of history and humanities.