Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
TOWARD A THEORY OF WORK: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, SELF-REGULATION, AND IDENTITY IN THE AGE OF AMERICA’S WORK CRISIS
Advisor: Dr. Sarika Chandra
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Toward a Theory of Work: Personal Responsibility, Self-Regulation, and Identity in the Age of America’s Work Crisis examines how American culture grapples with work in the Postfordist era of production, particularly in the areas of ethnic, working-class, cultural, and literary studies. Specific to these areas are ideas of (personal) responsibility that take shape in concepts of self-regulation invented to function as both a direct and indirect redress to the retooling of work in the U.S. of the late 1970s and early 80s forward. As this retooling of work seeks to meet the demands of global expansion of markets and financialization; and collides with the social order of work within nationalist paradigms, it also ushers in a labor reality for the U.S. workforce that necessitates adjustment, recalibration, and discipline of one’s inner self to the patterns and demands of the current stage of capitalism. This dissertation explores how this shows up in American literature and cultural production of the post-1980s with a specific focus on immigrant literature, undercover reporting, and postfeminist films. Through an analysis of these mediums, self-regulation is interrogated for the ways it mystifies questions of work for what appear as more advanced questions of race, sexuality, and gender.
Newsom, Katrina, "Toward A Theory Of Work: Personal Responsibility, Self-Regulation, And Identity In The Age Of America’s Work Crisis" (2018). Wayne State University Dissertations. 2054.