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Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace (Paperback)
  • Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace (Paperback)

Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace (Paperback)

Paperback 224 Pages / Published: 10/04/2000
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Now firmly established as fixtures of the American workplace, temporary employees constitute a much-discussed but still poorly understood segment of the labor force. In this consciousness-raising book, Jackie Krasas Rogers explores the realities of temporary work from the points of view of workers, agencies, and clients, focusing especially on issues of race, gender, power, and identity. Rogers investigates the situations of two very different kinds of temporary worker-lawyers and those in clerical settings-and finds contrasts and similarities between the two groups' reasons for seeking temporary work, the type of tasks performed, and the value attached to that labor.The goals of temporary workers can be at odds with the interests of the agency and the client, the other players in the power triad of "temping." Where clerical workers often see temporary employment as a stepping stone to a permanent job, many find upward mobility more illusory than real. Because temporary workers can be called in and let go at will or whim, and they have no established social relations in the workplace, they often work harder than permanent workers. Rogers, one of the authoritative scholars of temporary work in the United States, uses extensive archival and field data-including notes from her own work as an office temporary-to put a face on America's temporary workforce.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486623
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 312 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm


"Develops a nuanced understanding of temporary work that recognizes gender and race issues, based on studies of the experiences of temporary clerical workers and lawyers."

* Journal of Economic Literature *

"Rogers categorizes the clerical temporary experience as one in which workers are devalued, deskilled, mismatched, and made nonpersons. She includes a section on resistance to oppressive management practices and complains that employee advancement is blocked by entrenched meritocracy."

* Library Journal *

"Confronting illusions of flexibility and stepping-stone dreams, she examinines why people opt for temporary work and what they gain from it. Roger's provocative suggestions for creating worker-owned agencies and increased regulation merit attention."

* Publishers Weekly *

"Rogers' book is an in-depth exploration of the day-to-day experiences of two distinct groups of temp workers-clerical temps and temporary lawyers.... Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on temp work, offering new insights into the operation of gender and race in the labour process."

-- Leah F. Vosko, McMaster University * Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations *

"Temps is an excellent book well grounded in labor process and gender theories and based on interviews with... workers, lawyers, and agency representatives.... Temps can be recommended to relevant researchers and for use in sociology of work and gender courses."

-- Mary Romero, Arizona State University * Work and Occupations *

"Temps offers a highly engaging and penetrating look at temporary work. Rogers's analysis is firmly rooted in the best tradition of labor process research, but she extends this literature with new insights about control, resistance, and inequality in temp jobs."

-- Amy S. Wharton, Washington State University, editor of Working in America

"The beauty of this book is that it provides such rich depth and insight into the conditions of temporary workers; Jackie Rogers's analysis of temps is definitive."

-- Vicki Smith, University of California, Davis

"The growth of a contingent workforce over the past two decades has resulted in a large body of research. This book contributes to that literature by examining temporary clerical and legal work.... Recommended for collections serving general readers, undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers."

* Choice *

"This book presents an engrossing, nuanced analysis of the gendering of high- as well as low-skilled temporary work that illuminates the structure and diversity of temporary work through the voices of temps themselves."

-- Arne L. Kalleberg, Kenan Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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