Learning to Labor PDF

by Paul E. Willis This book has been on my reading list for 15 years and I'm glad I finally read it in Britain. Willis argues that the matching of working class boys with working class jobs is the result of a cultural process in which they see through the promises of school (it is designed to produce inequality no matter what) and decide to bond with one another in the manner of the roguish laborers they will become.The oppositional culture and sexism are recognizable today even though so much has changed. There's much less manual work, much more mental/social work, much more individual grooming for jobs by careers counselors, careers counselors are part of the capitalist establishment and working to fill slots (all those Third Way jobseekers' help shops), widening participation gives second and third chances at education. The biggest change is that manual labor has lost what bargaining power it had; it'is no longer the prettiest girl at the ball, even for the school leaving year.

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