The Changing Landscape of Labor

American Workers and Workplaces


This book documents, through photographs and words, the changing world of manual labor in late twentieth-century New England. In addition to depicting the physical environment in which industrial production occurs, the volume gives visibility and voice to the workers themselves—the women and men whose lives have been affected most directly by recent social and economic transformations. Although the focus is on New England, the issues addressed are relevant to the United States as a whole.

The Changing Landscape of Labor features more that fifty black-and-white photographs contrasting the work environments of such traditional industries as paper and textile mills, foundries, and shipyards with such newer, high-technology industries as computer manufacturing and aircraft production. Accompanying these images are excerpts from interviews with workers. Essays on the process of deindustrialization and the tradition of documentary photography place the photographs and personal testimony in a broader historical and cultural context.

By putting a human face on a process too often described in impersonal and abstract terms, The Changing Landscape of Labor reveals some of the less quantifiable consequences of the profound forces reshaping the American workplace.

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