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Smart Machines and Service Work: Automation in an Age of Stagnation
by Jason E. Smith
Reaktion Books, 2020
eISBN: 978-1-78914-317-1 | Cloth: 978-1-78914-318-8

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In recent decades digital devices have reshaped daily life, while tech companies’ stock prices have thrust them to the forefront of the business world. In this rapid, global development, the promise of a new machine age has been accompanied by worries about accelerated joblessness thanks to new forms of automation. Jason E. Smith looks behind the techno-hype to lay out the realities of a period of economic slowdown and expanding debt: low growth rates and an increase of labor-intensive jobs at the bottom of the service sector. He shows how increasing inequality and poor working conditions have led to new forms of workers’ struggles. Ours is less an age of automation, Smith contends, than one in which stagnation is intertwined with class conflict.

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