Things at work: Informal social-material mechanisms for getting the job done

Harvey Molotch, Noah McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Through interviews and field observations, we examine how New York subway workers consume official workplace equipment, particularly how they informally deploy such artifacts towards individual and collective ends. We discuss the ways workers call on artifacts to manage routine concerns of work contexts - physical vulnerabilities, bureaucratic constraints, and difficult persons amongst them. We show how sustained attention to a public infrastructure and its organizational contexts can deepen understanding of humans and machines together as a coherent practical accomplishment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-67
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Artifacts
on call workers
artifact
Railroads
Workplace
vulnerability
workplace
Interviews
infrastructure
worker
Equipment and Supplies
human being
interview
Artifact
Workers
Vulnerability
Person
Physical
New York Subway
Accomplishment

Keywords

  • Consumption
  • Infrastructure
  • Materiality
  • Subways
  • Transit
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Things at work : Informal social-material mechanisms for getting the job done. / Molotch, Harvey; McClain, Noah.

In: Journal of Consumer Culture, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2008, p. 35-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Molotch, Harvey ; McClain, Noah. / Things at work : Informal social-material mechanisms for getting the job done. In: Journal of Consumer Culture. 2008 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 35-67.
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