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Book Review: Venture Labor in IJOC

Thank you Melina Sherman and the International Journal of Communication for writing and publishing a review of Venture Labor.

Many books have been written about the decline of the manufacturing-industrial society and the massive social and economic shifts that characterize the late 20th and early 21st centuries (e.g., Castells et al., 2012; Cross, 2002; Stiglitz, 2010). However, few books on this topic have focused on the social norms, values, attitudes, and individual experiences that accompany system-wide changes (e.g., Fisher & Downey, 2006; Zaloom, 2006). This latter point is the center of Gina Neff’s Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries, a multifaceted study of employee risk in New York City’s Silicon Alley during the last decades of the 20th century. Neff argues that the so-called “dot-com era” and the forms of “venture labor” employees underwent as a strategy of managing risks in their jobs is best understood as a response to social, economic, and technological changes rather than the cause of them.

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