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Digital DepressionInformation Technology and Economic Crisis$
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Dan Schiller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038761

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038761.001.0001

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Network Connectivity and Labor Systems

Network Connectivity and Labor Systems

(p.13) Chapter 1 Network Connectivity and Labor Systems
Digital Depression

Dan Schiller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the impact of network connectivity on labor systems, arguing that the response to the recession of the 1970s was a profound one and eventually led to the crash of 2008. It explains how the early to mid-1970s brought forward information and communications technology (ICT) as the heart of capitalist development and situates this shift into networks within trends in production, finance, and U.S. military activity. It also examines what Kim Moody calls the “great transformation,” when a basement-to-attic redesign touched everything from the content of specific jobs to the technical division of labor within companies and entire industries, to the location of discrete and now increasingly isolable production systems. This “Great Transformation” is analyzed from two vantage points. The first concerns the labor process, the second, the wider commodity chains within which labor has been mobilized.

Keywords:   networks, labor systems, recession, information technology, communications technology, production systems, finance, U.S. military, Great Transformation, labor, commodity chains

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