The Company We Keep

Occupational Community in the High-Tech Network Society

Daniel Marschall
Book Cover

PB: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0756-6
Publication: Feb 14

HC: $71.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0755-9
Publication: Jan 12

Ebook: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0757-3

204 pages
6 x 9
7 figs.

How computer technologists developed an occupational identity that persists in cyberspace long after the dot-com bubble has burst


At the birth of the Internet Age, computer technologists in small, aggressive software development companies became part of a unique networked occupational community. They were creative, team-oriented, and enthusiastic workers who built “boundaryless careers,” hopping from one employer to another.

In his absorbing ethnography The Company We Keep, sociologist Daniel Marschall immerses himself in IntenSivity, one such technological workplace. Chronicling the employees' experiences, Marschall examines how these workers characterize their occupational culture, share values and work practices, and help one another within their community. He sheds light on the nature of this industry marked by highly skilled jobs and rapid technological change.

The experiences at IntenSivity are now mirrored by employees at Facebook and thousands of other cutting-edge, high-tech start-up firms. The Company We Keep helps us understand the emergence of virtual work communities and the character of the contemporary labor market at the level of a small enterprise.

Table of Contents

Prologue: First Encounters of a Techie Kind
1. Network Society and Occupational Community
2. Setting: A “Monster Soft Dev Shop” in Silicon Swamp
3. Constructing Occupational Identity
4. Forging Bonds on Projects and Products
5. Language and the Persistence of Community
Epilogue: Remembering the “Wild Ride” . . .and What Happened to Its Participants

About the Author(s)

Daniel Marschall is Professorial Lecturer in Sociology at The George Washington University. He works for the AFL-CIO as the federation's Policy Specialist for Workforce Issues.