Crippled Justice, the first comprehensive intellectual history of disability policy in the workplace from World War II to the present, explains why American employers and judges, despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, have been so resistant to accommodating the disabled in the workplace. Ruth O'Brien traces the origins of this resistance to the postwar disability policies inspired by physicians and psychoanalysts that were based on the notion that disabled people should accommodate society rather than having society accommodate them.
O'Brien shows how the remnants of postwar cultural values bogged down the rights-oriented policy in the 1970s and how they continue to permeate judicial interpretations of provisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In effect, O'Brien argues, these decisions have created a lose/lose situation for the very people the act was meant to protect. Covering developments up to the present, Crippled Justice is an eye-opening story of government officials and influential experts, and how our legislative and judicial institutions have responded to them.
In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, many private employers in the United States enacted fetal protection policies that barred fertile women—that is, women who had not been surgically sterilized—from working in jobs that might expose fetuses to toxins. In Fetal Rights, Women’s Rights, Suzanne Samuels analyzes these policies and the ambiguous responses to them by federal and state courts, legislatures, administrative agencies, litigants, and interest groups. She poses provocative questions about the implicit links between social welfare concerns and paternalism in the workplace, including: are women workers or wombs?
Placing the fetal protection controversy within the larger societal debate about gender roles, Samuels argues that governmental decision-makers confuse sex, which is based solely on biological characteristics, with gender, which is based on societal conceptions. She contends that the debate about fetal protection policies brought this ambiguity into stark relief, and that the response of policy-makers was rooted in assumptions about gender roles. Judges, legislators, and regulators used gender as a proxy, she argues, to sidestep the question of whether fetal protection policies could be justified by the biological differences between women and men.
The fetal protection controversy raises a number of concerns about women's role in the workplace. Samuels discusses the effect on governmental policies of the ongoing controversy over abortion rights and the debates between egalitarian and relational feminists about the treatment of women at work. A timely and engrossing study, Fetal Rights, Women's Rights details the pattern of gender politics in the United States and demonstrates the broader ramifications of gender bias in the workplace.
Fighting Toxics is a step-by-step guide illustrating how to investigate the toxic hazards that may exist in your community, how to determine the risks they pose to your health, and how to launch an effective campaign to eliminate them.
Today, as married women commonly pursue careers outside the home, concerns about their ability to achieve equal footing with men without sacrificing the needs of their families trouble policymakers and economists alike. In 1993 federal legislation was passed that required most firms to provide unpaid maternity leave for up to twelve weeks. Yet, as Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace reveals, motherhood remains a primary obstacle to women's economic success. This volume offers fascinating and provocative new analyses of women's status in the labor market, as it explores the debate surrounding parental leave: Do policies that mandate extended leave protect jobs and promote child welfare, or do they sidetrack women's careers and make them less desirable employees? An examination of the disadvantages that women—particularly young mothers—face in today's workplace sets the stage for the debate. Claudia Goldin presents evidence that female college graduates are rarely able to balance motherhood with career track employment, and Jane Waldfogel demonstrates that having children results in substantially lower wages for women. The long hours demanded by managerial and other high powered professions further penalize women who in many cases still bear primary responsibility for their homes and children. Do parental leave policies improve the situation for women? Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace offers a variety of perspectives on this important question. Some propose that mandated leave improves women's wages by allowing them to preserve their job tenure. Other economists express concern that federal leave policies prevent firms and their workers from acting on their own particular needs and constraints, while others argue that because such policies improve the well-being of children they are necessary to society as a whole. Olivia Mitchell finds that although the availability of unpaid parental leave has sharply increased, only a tiny percentage of workers have access to paid leave or child care assistance. Others caution that the current design of family-friendly policies may promote gender inequality by reinforcing the traditional division of labor within families. Parental leave policy is a complex issue embedded in a tangle of economic and social institutions. Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace offers an innovative and up-to-date investigation into women's chances for success and equality in the modern economy.
Intergroup dialogue represents a grassroots effort to meet one of the major challenges facing our democracy today: the lack of communication among diverse groups of people in schools, in communities, and in the workplace. By forging lines of communication among different elements of society, intergroup dialogue helps to create a more just, harmonious, and strong democracy.
Intergroup Dialogue is the most comprehensive study of intergroup dialogue to date, showcasing twelve in-depth case studies, offering critical perspectives, and exploring the foundation of such dialogue in democratic theory. The case studies are drawn from leading American organizations offering intergroup dialogue, including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Conference for Community and Justice, as well as several major universities and consultants to corporate America. Each case study presents a particular program's rationale, its details, an account of its successes, and evaluation data.
The pieces collected by David Schoem and Sylvia Hurtado will be of interest to community leaders, teachers, human resources managers, student affairs deans, and intergroup dialogue practitioners in the United States and abroad.
David Schoem is Faculty Director of the Michigan Community Scholars Program and teaches in the Sociology Department, University of Michigan. Sylvia Hurtado is Associate Professor of Higher Education, University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.
People are very creative in their use of language. This observation was made convincingly by Chomsky in the 1950s and is generally accepted in the scientific communities concerned with the study of language. Computers, on the other hand, are neither creative, flexible, nor adaptable. This is in spite of the fact that their ability to process language is based largely on the grammars developed by linguists and computer scientists. Thus, there is a mismatch between the observed human creativity and our ability as theorists to explain it. Language at Work examines grammars and other descriptions of language by combining the scientific and the practical. The scientific motivation is to unite distinct intellectual traditions, mathematics and descriptive social science, which have tried to provide an adequate explanation of language and its use on their own to no avail. This volume argues that Situation Theory, a theory of information couched in mathematics, has provided a uniform framework for the investigation of the creative aspects of language use. The application of Situation Theory in the study of language use in everyday communication to improve human/computer interaction is explored and espoused.
About 27.5 million Americans—nearly 24 percent of the labor force—earn less than $8.70 an hour, not enough to keep a family of four out of poverty, even working full-time year-round. Job ladders for these workers have been dismantled, limiting their ability to get ahead in today's labor market. Low-Wage America is the most extensive study to date of how the choices employers make in response to economic globalization, industry deregulation, and advances in information technology affect the lives of tens of millions of workers at the bottom of the wage distribution. Based on data from hundreds of establishments in twenty-five industries—including manufacturing, telecommunications, hospitality, and health care—the case studies document how firms' responses to economic restructuring often results in harsh working conditions, reduced benefits, and fewer opportunities for advancement. For instance, increased pressure for profits in newly consolidated hotel chains has led to cost-cutting strategies such as requiring maids to increase the number of rooms they clean by 50 percent. Technological changes in the organization of call centers—the ultimate "disposable workplace"—have led to monitoring of operators' work performance, and eroded job ladders. Other chapters show how the temporary staffing industry has provided paths to better work for some, but to dead end jobs for many others; how new technology has reorganized work in the back offices of banks, raising skill requirements for workers; and how increased competition from abroad has forced U.S. manufacturers to cut costs by reducing wages and speeding production. Although employers' responses to economic pressures have had a generally negative effect on frontline workers, some employers manage to resist this trend and still compete successfully. The benefits to workers of multi-employer training consortia and the continuing relevance of unions offer important clues about what public policy can do to support the job prospects of this vast, but largely overlooked segment of the American workforce. Low-Wage America challenges us to a national self-examination about the nature of low-wage work in this country and asks whether we are willing to tolerate the profound social and economic consequences entailed by these jobs. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Case Studies of Job Quality in Advanced Economies
Newcomers in the Workplace documents and dramatizes the changing face of the American workplace, transformed in the 1980s by immigrant workers in all sectors. This collection of excellent ethnographies captures the stench of meatpacking plants, the clatter of sewing machines, the sweat of construction sites, and the strain of management-employee relations in hotels and grocery stores as immigrant workers carve out crucial roles in a struggling economy.
Case studies focus on three geographical regions—Philadelphia, Miami, and Garden City, Kansas—where the active workforce includes increasing numbers of Cubans, Haitians, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Laotians, Vietnamese, and other new immigrants. The portraits show these newcomers reaching across ethnic boundaries in their determination to retain individualism and to insure their economic survival.
In the series Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni.
The last forty years have seen a dramatic change in the nature of work, with deaf people increasingly moving into white collar or office-based professions. The rise of deaf professionals has led to employment opportunities for signed language interpreters across a variety of workplace settings, creating a unique set of challenges that require specialized strategies. Aspects such as social interaction between employees, the unwritten patterns and rules of workplace behavior, hierarchical structures, and the changing dynamics of deaf employee/interpreter relationships place constraints upon the interpreter’s role and interpreting performance.
Jules Dickinson’s examination of interpreted workplace interactions is based on the only detailed, empirical study of this setting to date. Using practitioner responses and transcripts of real-life interpreted workplace interactions, Dickinson’s findings demonstrate the complexity of the interpreter’s role and responsibilities. The book concentrates on the ways in which signed language interpreters affect the interaction between deaf and hearing employees in team meetings by focusing on humor, small talk, and the collaborative floor. Signed Language Interpreting in the Workplace demonstrates that deaf employees require highly skilled professionals to enable them to integrate into the workplace on a level equal with their hearing peers. It also provides actionable insights for interpreters in workplace settings that will be a valuable resource for interpreting students, practitioners, interpreter trainers, and researchers.
Workers at Risk is a powerful and moving documentary of workers routinely exposed to toxic chemicals. Products and services we all depend on—glass bottles, computers, processed foods and fresh flowers, dry cleaning, medicines, even sculpture and silkscreened toys—are produced by workers in constant contact with more than 63,000 commercial chemicals. For many of them, the risk of death is a way of life.
More than seventy of them speak here of their jobs, their health, and the difficult choices they face in coming to grips with the responsibilities, risks, fears, and satisfactions of their work. Some struggle for information and acknowledgment of their health risks; others struggle to put out of their minds the dangers they know too well. Through extensive interviews, the authors have captured in these voices that double bind of the chemical worker: "If I had known that it would be that lethal, that it could give me or one of my children cancer, I would have refused to work. But it's a matter of survival and we just don't consider all these things. Meanwhile, we've got to make money to survive."
Rachel Spilka brings together nineteen previously unpublished essays concerned with ways in which recent research on workplace writing can contribute to the future direction of the discipline of technical and professional writing. Hers is the first anthology on the social perspective in professional writing to feature focused discussions of research advances and future research directions.
The workplace as defined by this volume is a widely diverse area that encompasses small companies and large corporations, public agencies and private firms, and a varied population of writers—engineers, managers, nurses, social workers, government employees, and others. Because much research has been conducted on the relationship between workplace writing and social contexts since the ground~breaking 1985 publication of Odell and Goswami’s Writing in Nonacademic Settings, Spilka contends that this is an appropriate time for the professional writing community to consider what it has learned to date and where it should be heading next in light of these recent discoveries. She argues that now professional writers should try to ask better questions and to define new directions.
Spilka breaks the anthology into two parts. Part 1 is a collection of ten essays presenting textual and qualitative studies conducted by the authors in the late l980s on workplace writing. Spilka has chosen these studies as representative of the finest research being conducted in professional writing that can serve as models for current and future researchers in the field. Barbara Couture, Jone Rymer, and Barbara Mirel report on surveys they conducted relying on the social perspective both to design survey instruments and to analyze survey data. Jamie MacKinnon assesses a qualitative study describing what workplace professionals might need to learn about social contexts and workplace writing. Susan Kleimann and editor Rachel Spilka discuss multiple case studies they conducted that help explain the value during the composing process of social interaction among the participants of a rhetorical situation. Judy Z. Segal explores the negotiation between the character of Western medicine and the nature of its professional discourse. Jennie Dautermann describes a qualitative study in which a group of nurses "claimed the authority to restructure their own procedural information system." Anthony Paré finds in a case study of social workers that writing can be constrained heavily by socially imposed limitations and restrictions. Graham Smart describes a study of discourse conventions in a financial institution. Geoffrey A. Cross reports on a case study of the interrelation of genre, context, and process in the group production of an executive letter and report.
Part 2 includes nine essays that assess the implications of recent research on workplace writing on theory, pedagogy and practice, and future research directions. Mary Beth Debs considers research implications for the notion of authorship. Jack Selzer explores the idea of intertextuality. Leslie A. Olson reviews the literature central to the concept of a discourse community. James A. Reither suggests that writing-as-collaboration in the classroom focuses "more on the production of texts to be evaluated than on ways in which texts arise out of other texts." Rachel Spilka continues Reither’s discussion of how writing pedagogy in academia might be revised with regard to the social perspective. Patricia Sullivan and James E. Porter respond to the debate about the authority of theory versus that of practice on researchers’ notions of methodology. Mary Beth Debs considers which methods used in fields related to writing hold promise for research in workplace writing. Stephen Doheny-Farina discusses how some writing researchers are questioning the underlying assumptions of traditional ethnography. Finally, Tyler Bouldin and Lee Odell suggest future directions for the research of workplace writing.