Monday, March 29, 2010

Defense of Fast Food Labor Conditions

I stumbled on this short position paper published in something called Opus1: The Journal of Undergraduate Research. In it, the author (whose name is not given) makes an argument in defense of the fast food industry's focus on hiring teens and praises the "extreme division of labor into simple repetitive tasks" (in other words, the Fordist model of food production we've been discussing in class) as a way "to tap inexpensive footloose labor." Since this is precisely the opposite of the position most people in the class took in response to the "Behind the Counter" chapter of Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, I thought it would be useful to post it here.

By the way, Opus1 is a strange publication -- I'm not sure what to make of it. Apparently it publishes papers by college undergraduates, though strangely none of the papers are attributed to individual authors. There is an editorial board that apparently selects the work published in the journal, and the board includes mostly people who work at universities -- but none of their credentials are given, and the site doesn't give any details about the editorial process. The site seems to focus primarily on economics, with a bias toward neoliberal or free market economics.

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