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Workers in a Labyrinth: Jobs and Survival in a Bank Bureaucracy

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20 review for Workers in a Labyrinth: Jobs and Survival in a Bank Bureaucracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Burnam-Fink

    Hi, my name is Michael, I have a social sciences PhD, and I just started working in bank. I could use all the help I can get, so when I saw this book referenced in the abysmal Manufacturing Morals, and a used copy was a steal, I grabbed.. That said, this is Jackall's anthropology dissertation from 1973, so a few things have changed in the 46 years. Jackall took as his object of study clerks working for a major New York City based bank. His theoretical paradigm was the alienation of labor of whit Hi, my name is Michael, I have a social sciences PhD, and I just started working in bank. I could use all the help I can get, so when I saw this book referenced in the abysmal Manufacturing Morals, and a used copy was a steal, I grabbed.. That said, this is Jackall's anthropology dissertation from 1973, so a few things have changed in the 46 years. Jackall took as his object of study clerks working for a major New York City based bank. His theoretical paradigm was the alienation of labor of white collar workers. While clerks may not be operating a machine as part of an assembly line, they do a regularized task that is one module of a larger financial scheme, they manipulate million dollar accounts for $400 a month (about $2300 in 2019 dollars), and their working lives are Taylorized to the nth degree. With a paradigm like alienation of labor, there's not much to say except "yup, it's alienated." Jackall, almost parenthetically, manages to capture some interesting insights into the period. His interview subjects are 90% female, their managers 90% male, and this is the the first period where that is starting to change. There's a conflict between button-down financial culture and the more freewheeling counter-culture, or even just 70s fashion. And most interestingly, there's conflict between 'authoritarian managers' who use shouting and discipline to enforce order, and 'friendly managers' who cultivate a network of informers behind a smiling face. Workers in a Labyrinth is obsolete and not particularly insight, but it is positive breezy for a monograph, and a moderate pleasure to read, at least for me. Your value may vary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alexandre Chabot-Leclerc

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sidd

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  6. 4 out of 5

    jo ianni

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  8. 4 out of 5

    Damyana Veleva

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vivek Kumar

  10. 5 out of 5

    Arnab Biswas

  11. 4 out of 5

    Big Daddy

  12. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joshua.Kirby

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erik Nilsen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dax

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Clayton

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lemagnen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Texas

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