Society for the Anthropology of Work – 2013 Book Prize
2012 Book Prize
Carrie Lane, A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (ILR Press), 2011.
In A Company of One, Carrie Lane brings together a large body of scholarship on neoliberalism and her own in-depth research in the Dallas area to show how contemporary white collar workers deal with their careers and sense of identity in an era of job insecurity. Three years of research interviewing laid-off high-tech workers—focusing on their “own words and experiences” and participating in networking events—provides the basis for an incisive discussion of work today. The topic of unemployment is important theoretically and stands out as a burning public issue, making this a timely, ground-breaking study. The coverage of the relevant literature on meritocratic individualism, among other themes, is masterful. Particularly strong is the assessment of changing gender roles in comparing the current wave of unemployment to previous recessions. Lane interweaves the words of her interlocutors into her analysis of unemployment, exploring the work of non-work and the repercussions of the ongoing crisis. She demonstrates how laid-off workers buy into an ideology that puts the burden of global economic and political problems on their own shoulders. Her excellent writing makes this book appealing to a wide audience within and beyond anthropology.
Many of the eighteen nominees had strong advocates on the selection committee. According to the criteria established for the prize, the four selected as finalists were ranked highest by the committee as a whole and a consensus was reached on the outstanding attributes of the winner. Note: committee members recused themselves from ranking books in two cases where they had previously worked with the authors.
Peter Benson, Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Jakob Krause-Jensen, Flexible Firm: The Design of Culture at Bang Olufsen. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010.
Caitrin Lynch, Retirement on the Line: Age, Work, and Value in an American Factory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (ILR Press), 2012.
SAW Travel Awards:
SAW welcomes student submissions and will provide June Nash Student Travel Awards of $250 to all students who present papers on SAW-reviewed panels. This year we are pleased to announce the new SAW Fellows Program, which provides financial assistance ($250) to all unemployed or underemployed scholars who present papers on SAW-sponsored panels. This category includes individuals working as adjuncts, contingent employees, and others in non-tenure-track positions. To receive these awards you need only: 1) serve as a panelist, chair, or roundtable participant on a SAW-sponsored session at the 2012 AAA Meeting; 2) email SAW Treasurer Charles Menzies (email@example.com) before or after the meeting; and 3) provide Charles with receipts for travel and/or accommodations (electronic receipts are fine) and confirm that at least $250 of your travel expenses to the Annual Meeting were not covered by other funding sources.
The SAW program co-chairs for the 2012 AAA Annual Meeting are Jan English-Lueck (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Caitrin Lynch (email@example.com). Please feel free to contact us regarding submission of your papers, posters, or roundtable sessions. We especially encourage those considering submitting Invited Sessions to contact us in advance.