Tuesday, March 27, 2012

a third of us

It's been reported that as part of the 21st century "transformational" economy, a full third of the American workforce works as freelance, contingent, by the contract, or in some other capacity decidedly not full-time at one company. This should be no shock to the many of us who've worked in such a capacity for most of our adult lives, and yet, if you describe this phenomena in the classroom, you can still be greeted with looks of disbelief.

And mainstream news sources, such as cnn.com, can still report that such a trend is new information, indeed newsworthy information. But in reality, even as the economy improves, the trend in growth of contract work as a larger share of the total work in our country, and the world, will continue. And so no one should be surprised that we have folks in the workforce who write journalism by day, teach as adjuncts in the evenings, and then get paid as strippers a bit later on. After all, you don't have to be a fan of Rabbi Jesus to recognize that itinerant teacher is one of the oldest professions around. I'm sure LZ Granderson understands that "hustling" is as old as the plains and in actuality not such a novel "news" story.

1 comment:

Vanessa Vaile said...

In the UK and NL, the "Precarious Workers Brigade" movement brings together "insecure (UK term) knowledge workers" a across multiple professions that includes teachers, "insecure lecturers" in highered, artists, designers, writers, etc.

And I do like the term "itinerant teachers" rather better than most in the current round of Naming Games. Go even more classical and just call us peripatetics... that should be dignified for even the pickiest... surely more so than, say, "knowledge hustlers"