A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs (Paperback)
  • A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs (Paperback)
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A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs (Paperback)

(editor), (afterword)
£14.99
Paperback 248 Pages / Published: 05/06/2015
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Ever wondered what it would be like to be a street magician in Paris? A fish farmer in Norway? A costume designer in Bollywood? This playful and accessible look at different types of work around the world delivers a wealth of information and advice about a wide array of jobs and professions. The value of this book is twofold: For young people or middle-aged people who are undecided about their career paths and feel constrained in their choices, A World of Work offers an expansive vision. For ethnographers, this book offers an excellent example of using the practical details of everyday life to shed light on larger structural issues.Each chapter in this collection of ethnographic fiction could be considered a job manual. Yet not any typical job manual-to do justice to the ways details about jobs are conveyed in culturally specific ways, the authors adopt a range of voices and perspectives. One chapter is written as though it was a letter from an older sister counseling her brother on how to be a doctor in Malawi. Another is framed as a eulogy for a well-loved village magistrate in Papua New Guinea who may have been killed by sorcery.Beneath the novelty of the examples are some serious messages that Ilana Gershon highlights in her introduction. These ethnographies reveal the connection between work and culture, the impact of societal values on the conditions of employment. Readers will be surprised at how much they can learn about an entire culture by being given the chance to understand just one occupation.Contributors: Lovleen Bains, Mumbai; Chiwoza Bandawe, University of Malawi; Joshua A. Bell, Smithsonian Institution; Michelle Bigenho, Colgate University; Warren Chamberlain, Vita Needle Company, Massachusetts; Melissa Demian, Australian National University; Ilana Gershon, Indiana University; Kathryn Graber, Indiana University; Graham M. Jones, MIT; Amanda Kemble, University of Michigan; Briel Kobak, University of Chicago; Corinna Kruse, Linkoeping University, Sweden; Joel Kuipers, The George Washington University; Carrie Lane, California State University, Fullerton; Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley; John Law, Open University; Heather Levi, Temple University; Marianne Elisabeth Lien, University of Oslo; Caitrin Lynch, Olin College; Loic Marquet, Paris; Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Indiana University; Chris Swift, Leeds Teaching Hospitals; Claire Wendland, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Clare Wilkinson-Weber, Washington State University Vancouver; Helena Wulff, Stockholm University

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801456855
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 369 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"I read with real pleasure and enjoyment this imaginative collection of essays produced mostly by established anthropologists, and a few others who are practitioners of their crafts, on a quirky diversity of jobs. Charmingly, Ilana Gershon offers this collection as 'a graduation gift to my students, a bouquet of possibilities so that you can start thinking in concrete detail about what you need to know to do many different kinds of unusual jobs.' A very valuable gift indeed for the sorts of job markets that a highly cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse college student body faces today. I was charmed by its imaginative and readable format, and A World of Work is also quite a deep collection on the nature of work in a number of specializations. It is for anyone who enjoys the drama, humor, and achievement of applying learned skills in everyday life."

-- George E. Marcus, Director of the Center for Ethnography, University of California, Irvine, co,-author of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary

"This delightful book takes the reader into the everyday work lives of people all over the world. What is it like to be doctor in Malawi, a magician in Paris, a crime scene investigator in Sweden? Each chapter is unexpected and engaging. You'll discover your own work and cultural underpinnings by experiencing how different life is for others. This is the most interesting and entertaining job-oriented book I've read in a long time."

-- Nicholas Lore, best-selling author of The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success

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