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Troublemakers: power, representation, and the fiction of the mass worker [Power, representation, and the fiction of the mass worker]

Scott, William David (2012) Troublemakers: power, representation, and the fiction of the mass worker [Power, representation, and the fiction of the mass worker]. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick. ISBN 9780813551890

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William Scott’s Troublemakers explores how a major change in the nature and forms of working-class power affected novels about U.S. industrial workers in the first half of the twentieth century. With the rise of mechanization and assembly-line labor from the 1890s to the 1930s, these laborers found that they had been transformed into a class of “mass” workers who, since that time, have been seen alternately as powerless, degraded victims or heroic, empowered icons who could rise above their oppression only through the help of representative organizations located outside the workplace. Analyzing portrayals of workers in such novels as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Ruth McKenney's Industrial Valley, and Jack London’s The Iron Heel, William Scott moves beyond narrow depictions of these laborers to show their ability to resist exploitation through their direct actions—sit-down strikes, sabotage, and other spontaneous acts of rank-and-file “troublemaking” on the job—often carried out independently of union leadership. The novel of the mass industrial worker invites us to rethink our understanding of modern forms of representation through its attempts to imagine and depict workers’ agency in an environment where it appears to be completely suppressed..


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Item Type: Book
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scott, William Davidwdscott@pitt.eduWDSCOTT
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Place of Publication: New Brunswick
Number of Pages: 284
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Working, class, in, literature., American, fiction, --, 20th, century, --, History, and, criticism., Power, (Social, sciences), in, literature., Labor, movement, in, literature., Work, in, literature., Social, conflict, in, literature., Arbeiter, (Motiv), Arbeiterbewegung, (Motiv), Literatur., Macht, (Motiv)
ISBN: 9780813551890
Additional Information: Contents: Introduction -- Part one: The making of the mass worker. The powerless worker and the failure of political representation : "the lowest and most degraded of human beasts"; The empowered worker and the technological representation of capital : "out of this furnace, this metal." Part two: Strategy and structure at the point of production. The disempowering worker and the aesthetic representation of industrial unionism: "I am the book that has no end!" ; The powerful worker and the demand for economic representation: "they planned to use their flesh, their bones, as a barricade" -- Conclusion: Making trouble on a global scale.
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2012 19:31
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:06


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