Television at Work: Industrial Media and American Labor by Kit Hughes

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Television has never been exclusive to the home. In Television at Work, Kit Hughes explores the forgotten history of how U.S. workplaces used television to secure industrial efficiency, support corporate expansion, and manage the hearts, minds, and bodies of twentieth century workers.

Challenging our longest-held understandings of the medium, Hughes positions television at the heart of a post-Fordist reconfiguration of the American workplace revolving around dehumanized technological systems. Among other things, business and industry built private television networks to distribute programming, created complex CCTV data retrieval systems, encouraged the use of videotape for worker self-evaluation, used video cassettes for training distributed workforces, and wired cantinas for employee entertainment. In uncovering industrial television as a prolific sphere of media practice, Television at Work reveals how labor arrangements and information architectures shaped by these uses of television were foundational to the rise of the digitally mediated corporation and to a globalizing economy.

Oxford University Press, 2020.
ISBN: 9780190855796. 304 pp.
Softcover. Near fine.