[iDC] Hyperemployed or Feminized Labor?

Margaret Morse morse at ucsc.edu
Wed Nov 20 18:23:47 UTC 2013

Dear HW and other impressive  commentators, 
I follow your reasoning with some clarity until I get to  <httpRequest>, the key to the point you are making.  It isn't obvious to me what it means since I
have never programmed nor have I deeply immersed myself in social media--I do what I can to the avoid vertical extraction of my diurnal cycle.   With enough sleuthing I might find out for myself how <httpRequest> works to create a hole that makes Web 2.0 possible, but it makes me wonder if you are targeting an exclusive audience for whom terms and acronyms you throw around are self-evident or something more.  There are lots of other things an acronym could mean in my brain. Is there any way to make a sense of inclusion beyond your normal circles more possible?

I was very intrigued earlier by the discussion of gender issues and labor.  I know enough of Arlie Hochschild's work to think that the framing our discussion as a question of labor and hyperemployment is a narrow way to look at questions of work per se.  Unfortunately, I can't expand on this now because I am under a deadline--probably like everyone else--and by the time I have prepared my response, the conversation will have moved so far ahead, it won't be relevant, or so I found in prior discussions.  

I am sympathetic with Cynthia and the problem of doing something "productive" at interstitial moments--but isn't that productivity per se defining our diurnal cycle?  As an (ex-) East German sociologist friend of mine said, what disturbs her about the current discourse in her field is the assumption that a job is the source of value and validation of human beings per se. Kevin asks, "'Is to be 'hyperemployed' to be 'doing work people like me shouldn't be doing?"     Kevin's comment that "if we describe a standard of acceptable labor primarily in terms of compensation/visibility, isn't that [slave labor] where we end up?" reminds me of a professor complaining decades ago when computers were becoming a necessity for academics, that his workload had expanded dramatically to the point of exploitation, because he was not longer able to dictate his ideas to a secretary who would transform them into shorthand and type them up to perfection.  Of course the gender and class assumptions in his attitude are striking today. 

Getting back to my first point, I would appreciate attention to who will be reading this when you compose ideas in terms that self-evident to you and don't make it harder than necessary to parse, unless you don't care.



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