Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, more of a Beta than an Alpha Male. Charlie's been lucky, though. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a second-hand store with the help of a couple of loyal, if marginally insane, employees. He's married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normality. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child. But normal service is about to be interrupted. As Charlie prepares to go home after the birth, he sees a strange man dressed in mint-green at Rachel's hospital bedside - a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . . People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yep, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's a dirty job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.
This book explores new understandings and contemporary experiences of dirty work – tasks or roles that are seen to be disgusting or degrading. Through novel empirical sites that include nursing, medicalization, sex workers, sex call operators, financiers and women's magazines, the book offers new theoretical insights into a form of work that is increasing in significance in the contemporary labour market. By drawing on concepts such as staining, embodiment and 'whiteness', it complicates the clean/dirty divide in the context of work and contributes to understandings of dirty work as contingent, fluid and socially constructed. It offers rich insights into the complex ways in which such work is experienced and the variety of strategies drawn on as dirty workers seek to manage identity.
There has been a tendency amongst feminists to see domestic work as the great leveller, a common burden imposed on all women equally by patriarchy. This unique study of migrant domestic workers in the North uncovers some uncomfortable facts about the race and class aspects of domestic oppression. Based on original research, it looks at the racialisation of paid domestic labour in the North - a phenomenon which challenges feminsim and political theory at a fundamental level. The book opens with an exploration of the public/private divide and an overview of the debates on women and power. The author goes on to provide a map of employment patterns of migrant women in domestic work in the North; she describes the work they perform, their living and working conditions and their employment relations. A chapter on the US explores the connections between slavery and contemporary domestic service while a section on commodification examines the extent to which migrant domestic workers are not selling their labour but their whole personhood. The book also looks at the role of the Other in managing dirt, death and pollution and the effects of the feminisation of the labour market - as middle class white women have greater presence in the public sphere, they are more likely to push responsibility for domestic work onto other women. In its depiction of the treatment of women from the South by women in the North, the book asks some difficult questions about the common bond of womanhood. Packed with information on the numbers of migrant women working as domestics, the racism, immigration or employment legislation that constrains their lives, and testimonies from the workers themselves, this is the most comprehensive study of migrant domestic workers available.
This Element is an excerpt from The Rules of Work: A Definitive Code for Personal Success, Expanded Edition (9780137072064) by Richard Templar. Available in print and digital formats. Don’t let your excellence be overlooked! Follow these rules, get noticed, and move up! It’s too easy for your work to get overlooked. You’re slaving away, and it’s easy to forget that you must put in some effort to boost your individual status and get personal kudos. But it’s important. You have to make your mark, so your promotional potential will be realized. The best way to do this is to….
The Left's Dirty Job compares the experiences of recent socialist governments in France and Spain, examining how the governments of François Mitterrand (1981–1995) and Felipe González (1982–1996) provide a key test of whether a leftist approach to industrial restructuring is possible. This study argues that, in fact, both governments' policies generally resembled those of other European governments in their emphasis on market-adapting measures that eliminated thousands of jobs while providing income support for displaced workers. Featuring extensive field work and interviews with over one hundred political, labor, and business leaders, this study is the first systematic comparison of these important socialist governments.