Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880-1980



Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880-1980Race On The Line Is The First Book To Address The Convergence Of Race, Gender, And Technology In The Telephone Industry Venus Green A Former Bell System Employee And Current Labor Historian Presents A Hundred Year History Of Telephone Operators And Their Work Processes, From The Invention Of The Telephone In 1876 To The Period Immediately Before The Break Up Of The American Telephone And Telegraph Company In 1984 Green Shows How, As Technology Changed From A Manual Process To A Computerized One, Sexual And Racial Stereotypes Enabled Management To Manipulate Both The Workers And The Workplace More Than A Simple Story Of The Impact Of Technology, Race On The Line Combines Oral History, Personal Experience, And Archival Research To Weave A Complicated History Of How Skill Is Constructed And How Its Meanings Change Within A Rapidly Expanding Industry Green Discusses How Women Faced An Environment Where Male Union Leaders Displayed Economic As Well As Gender Biases And Where Racism Served As A Persistent System Of Division Separated Into Chronological Sections, The Study Moves From The Early Years When The Bell Company Gave Both Male And Female Workers Opportunities To Advance To The Era Of The White Lady Image Of The Company, When African American Women Were Excluded From The Industry And Feminist Working Class Consciousness Among White Women Was Consequently Inhibited To The Computer Era, A Time When Black Women Had Waged A Successful Struggle To Integrate The Telephone Operating System But Faced Technological Displacement And Unrewarding Work An Important Study Of Working Class American Women During The Twentieth Century, This Book Will Appeal To A Wide Audience, Particularly Students And Scholars With Interest In Women S History, Labor History, African American History, The History Of Technology, And Business History.

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880-1980 book, this is one of the most wanted Venus Green author readers around the world.

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  • Paperback
  • 392 pages
  • Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880-1980
  • Venus Green
  • English
  • 15 July 2017
  • 082232573X

10 thoughts on “Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880-1980

  1. Tequila says:

    This is a wonderful book that spent too much time on my shelf waiting to be read.Venus Green worked for the Bell System for over a decade and a half before seeking her Ph.D in labor history and writing this fascinating study of labor in the newly invented telecommunications field The book is full of tasty little tidbits of information For instance, women broke into the telephone operator business when Bell Telephones tried to transfer tween and early teen boys from the telegraph industry to t This is a wonderful book that spent too much time on my shelf waiting to be read.Venus Green worked for the Bell System for over a decade and a half before seeking her Ph.D in labor history and writing this fascinating study of labor in the newly invented telecommunications field The book is full of tasty little tidbits of information For instance, women broke into the telephone operator business when Bell Telephones tried to transfer tween and early teen boys from the telegraph industry to the telephone industry and found that their rambunctious, uncivilized and uncivil behavior cursing the customers and getting in fights in the workplace were detrimental to business Another interesting twist is that in the late 1960s and early 1970s before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had the power to sue employers in court, both the EEOC and the NAACP challenged Bell Telephone s requests to the Federal Communications Commission for rate increases on the basis that discriminatory wages unfairly lowered the cost of inputs, distorting Bell s costs in relation to its profits I was surprised to note the term corporate code of conduct used in relation to ATT as early as the 1950s and 1960s, when ATT Bell donated out of date equipment to job training centers in inner cities to train young people in jobs that were being phased out due to the adoption of new technology making the equipment and training donated practically worthless and truly an empty gesture.The history of women s labor at Bell Telephones is also a history of encouraging racism and employer control over female employees All of the issues that arise in today s labor market the impact of changing technology on formerly work intensive jobs, the fact that unions as originally conceived during the craft era and the industrial era do not apply directly in the information age arose during ATT s history Venus Green shows how neither the employee associations imposed on workers by Bell ATT, independent unions such as the CWA and the NTWT nor ATT and Bell effectively prepared women workers to adapt to new technologies It was sad to note that few women were promoted to be supervisors or highly trained users of technology in the mid 20th century, though interesting to note that in the late 1880s and early 1900s, many women thrived in the position of operator which required intensive physical, mental and social dexterity and were promoted to positions of supervisors, managers and trainers for long productive and interesting careers that lasted decades.Green s discussion of the employee associations established by Bell and ATT provides an interesting contrast to the Works Councils established in many European nations, showing both why there is such a vehement distrust among free trade unionists of such employee associations in the U.S and showing how such organizations in the US and in Europe can detract attention from job losses and less than ideal pay practices by giving workers a supposed voice in management decisions and distracting them with day to day problems like bad food in the cafeteria.All in all, an interesting and pleasant read

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