12th September 2009 Mr Walker, It’s All Over: Gender Politics in Office Songs

Nowaytomakealiving.net is named after a mis­hear­ing of the Dolly Par­ton song 9 to 5, one of a small num­ber of songs about office work. 9 to 5 is the theme song to the 1980 film, where Dolly Par­ton, Lily Tom­lin and Jane Fonda seek revenge on a sex­ist boss who harasses them and steals their…

What is the Bus Driver’s Job?

Most bus dri­vers oper­ate as though their job is to drive from Andover to Guise­ley via Bar­row, Chelms­ford, Don­caster, Exeter and Faver­sham. It is the jour­ney of the bus that mat­ters – whether it is on time and what the traf­fic is like. The jour­ney of the pas­sen­ger doesn’t mat­ter so much, except to the…

11th September 2009 The Remembrance to a Lost Work: Nostalgia, Labour and the Visual

Taken from the Intro­duc­tion to Ming Jue: Pho­tographs of Long­bridge and Nan­jing (Stu­art Whipps, 2008, Wal­sall: New Art Gallery) Pho­tog­ra­phy by Stu­art Whipps [http://www.stuartwhipps.com/] One of the main con­cerns soci­ol­o­gists had in the 1960s and 1970s was how indus­trial work­ers coped with the bor­ing monot­ony of their rou­tine jobs, but iron­i­cally within two decades attention…

10th September 2009 Who is Responsible for the Photocopier?

The nurse tells the recep­tion­ist there’s no toner left in the pho­to­copier. The recep­tion­ist asks admin who says she doesn’t know, she’ll ask Michelle, but she knows that Carol’s good with the pho­to­copier. The recep­tion­ist calls Michelle, but Michelle’s not there until the after­noon and the recep­tion­ist is due to leave at 12.30, so the…

3rd September 2009 Seeing Work: Time, Space and Labour on a Building Site

This project analy­ses the social organ­i­sa­tion of work on a build­ing site and the dif­fer­ent forms of labour that go into the refur­bish­ment of a build­ing. It explores the ways in which the build­ing space is con­cep­tu­alised and lived by those who work on the project – builders, archi­tects and engi­neers – and the ways…

2nd September 2009 The Wire

Watch it and love it. As a story about gangs, drugs, inequal­ity and social/institutional and leg­isla­tive fail­ure to pro­tect poor com­mu­ni­ties, The Wire is astound­ing telly. In por­tray­ing the inter­con­nec­tions between the struc­tures of power and the pow­er­less – and show­ing how these are not always embed­ded in for­mal insti­tu­tions – it comments