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The Disrupted WorkplaceTime and the Moral Order of Flexible Capitalism$
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Benjamin H. Snyder

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190203498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190203498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

A Brief History of Work Time

A Brief History of Work Time

(p.25) Chapter 2 A Brief History of Work Time
The Disrupted Workplace

Benjamin H. Snyder

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides some important historical background for understanding the rise of flexible capitalism as a new cultural and political regime of work time. The chapter analyzes the rise of chronological work time in terms of its two “faces.” On one side, it has been a disciplinary tool in capitalist labor systems used to exploit workers for economic gain. On the other side, it has been a benevolent guide for moral development among cultural elites, allowing the disciplined individual to cultivate virtues like vigilance, constancy, and inner drive. These two contradictory faces have generating perplexing moral dilemmas for workers, which have deeply shaped American workplace culture. The chapter concludes by examining what this history can teach us about the relationship between work time and moral order during periods of economic change.

Keywords:   chronological time, history of time, clock, hour, schedule, career

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