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Made To Work
Mobilising Contemporary Worklives
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"This is a must-read for anyone interested in 'knowledge work' and the lives associated with it. It examines the varying rhythms and spaces of this work for three groups of workers - IT, digital creatives and academics - with particular attention to the 'corollary work' that makes their mobile work possible, both technically and socially. The deep interdependence between 'knowledge work' and the social and spatial processes that make it possible are examined in a lively and insightful analysis. It meshes together very effectively a rigorous comparative research design with close interpretive analysis to produce a readable and enriching account." Professor Sean O Riain, Department of Sociology Maynooth University, Ireland "Mobile work is often pitched in terms of liberation from the inflexible constraints of the 'old' ways of working through new technologies (smaller, faster, better, cheaper, anytime, anywhere, and oh, so much more fun!), but its reality is highly complex and nuanced, and deserving of a more reflective examination. Made to Work threads together the authors' expertise from across the computing and social sciences, extending a sweeping and comprehensive review of prior work into a rich investigation into the work and lives of real mobile knowledge workers, showing how a wide span of informational, technical, relational, and infrastructural resources are pulled together to make their work work for them. Made to Work is critical reading for anyone trying to understand contemporary and future forms of work, and for the designers of technical and organisational systems used to enable mobile work." Professor Mark Perry, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University, United Kingdom "Based on a major empirical study lasting five years, Made to Work marks an intervention that offers new understandings of work and labour, public and private, space and place, and mobility, precarity and temporality. Moving on from studies of single occupational groups, the book looks across diverse forms of mobile knowledge work, starting from workers' lives and exploring similarities and differences of experience between and among academics, digital creatives, and ICT managers. The result is a book that fizzes with intellectual energy, and which fashions key new terms such as 'corollary work' and 'acute arrhythmia' to understand the relentless and turbulent nature of digital worklife today." Professor Rosalind Gill, Department of Sociology, City, University of London, United Kingdom "Made to Work is a valuable look at the intricacies of mobile knowledge workers and what they do to make their worklives work. Drawing on the experiences of workers in Ireland, Gray, Ciolfi, and Pinatti detail how workers engage in 'corollary work' to navigate, detangle, and weave together a personal resource 'fabric' to achieve their goals. These authors not only raise the veil on the necessity of corollary work for mobile knowledge workers, but, most importantly, honor it as an intentional and creative act that enables their subjects to make worlds that would otherwise not exist. This is an invaluable resource for understanding the intersection of work, technology, and mobility today." Dr. Ingrid Erickson, Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, USA "Made to Work follows mobile knowledge workers in academia, digital creative work and information technology communication management, providing a stunningly detailed account of how working lives are being recreated. Informed by an in-depth study of workers based in Ireland, it reveals how for this elusive and often celebrated group of workers living and working cannot be disentangled, resulting in what the authors term 'worklives'. Making distinctive interventions in the sociology of mobilities, feminist sociology and the sociology of work, this book offers important models not only for how to
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Breda Gray is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Limerick (Ireland). Luigina Ciolfi is Professor of Human Centred Computing at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Aparecido Fabiano Pinatti de Carvalho is Associate Researcher at the Institute of Information Systems and New Media of the University of Siegen (Germany).
Introduction 1. Corollary Work: The Mainstay of Mobile Knowledge Work 2. Cities and Regions in the Placing of Worklives 3. Everyday Worklife Placing 4. Anticipatory Availability: 'Time Work' in the Worklives of ICT Managers and Digital Creatives 5. 'Reflexive Rhythmicity' and the Making of Academic Worklives 6. The Productivity Quest 7. Identity Work: Animating the Mobile Knowledge Worklife Conclusion