Rethinking Expectations and Breaking MoldsEdited by Peter A. Creticos, Larry Bennett, Laura Owen, Costas Spirou, and Maxine Morphis-Riesbeck
With a Foreword by Peter Georgescu
What will work eventually look like? This is the question at the heart of this timely collection. The editors and contributors—a mix of policy experts, academics, and advocates—seek to reframe the typical projections of the “future” of work. They examine the impact of structural racism on work, the loss of family‑sustaining jobs, the new role of gig work, growing economic inequality, barriers to rewarding employment such as age, gender, disability, and immigration status, and the business policies driving these ongoing challenges.
Together the essays present varied and practical insights into both U.S. and global trends, discuss the role of labor activism in furthering economic justice, and examine progressive strategies to improve the experience of work, wages, and the lives of workers. The Many Futures of Work offers a range of viable policies and practices that can promote rewarding employment and steer our course away from low-wage, unstable jobs toward jobs that lead to equitable prosperity and economic inclusion.
Contributors: Eileen Appelbaum, Jonathan Barr, Eric Harris Bernstein, Susanne M. Bruyère, Oscar A. Chacón, Thomas Croft, William A. Darity Jr., Peter Georgescu, James Bau Graves, Darrick Hamilton, Stephen Herzenberg, Saru Jayaraman, Martin Kenney, William Lazonick, Christopher Mackin, Karen E. Maguire, Annie Malhotra, Patrick L. Mason, Chris Mathieu, Ruth Milkman, Michelle Miller, Phyllis Moen, Rob Paral, Amy Shannon, Devan Shea, Chris Warhurst, Sally Wright, John Zysman, and the editors
“Nothing in a modern economy is more important than work. I emphasize this because some have long believed maximizing shareholder value is paramount. During modern times, wages have stagnated and work has become insecure. The Many Futures of Work is one of the most important books published in recent years because it addresses the multiple interrelated aspects of work—not only remuneration but also equality, individual fulfillment, job security, careers, and worker power. It offers a variety of constructive approaches and discards the blind economic prejudice that
short-term profit is all that matters. Bravo to the editors and the contributors.”
— Jeff Madrick, author of Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World
“The Many Futures of Work offers a much-needed holistic perspective on automation and the gig economy. The examination of labor market disparities, biases in business governance and investment, new forms of labor organizing, and policy impediments and opportunities is significant. Featuring leading academics, investors, organizers, and policymakers, this volume provides multiple perspectives on what is new in the future of work and what is not, from the gig jobs of musicians to where many futures of work discussions fall short in understanding race and ethnicity, gender, immigrant status, and disability. The Many Futures of Work cogently argues that different choices about the future of work must involve ambitious policies and changing business
investment and governance practices. It is a necessary and valuable ambition.”
— Robert P. Giloth, Vice President of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and author of Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-first Century
"(R)eaders hailing from the fields of academia, policy making, and activism in countries around the world will appreciate this book’s overview of the fragmentation of workplaces, erosion of worker rights, and precarity found in new forms of work – issues that are widely prevalent globally. Scholars of law, policy, management, industrial relations, economics, and sociology will find this book engaging in its depiction of specific classes of workers and the manner in which they experience inequality and discrimination in the workplace.”
— Society for the Anthropology of Work
"The Many Futures of Work packs into one volume a breathtaking amount of information and data (with notably colorful tables and figures).... The book is a valuable source for academics and students who study work. It can also provide fresh ideas for consultants and labor organizers. As technology and capital continue to transform work, The Many Futures of Work provides an important reminder to stay abreast of their logics and the mechanisms used to sustain workers’ interests, whatever the future will be."
— Contemporary Sociology