Capital Moves RCA s Seventy Year Quest for Cheap Labor Globalization is the lead story of the new century but its roots reach back nearly one hundred years to major corporations quest for stable inexpensive and pliant sources of labor Before the large

  • Title: Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
  • Author: Jefferson R. Cowie
  • ISBN: 9781565846593
  • Page: 172
  • Format: Paperback
  • Globalization is the lead story of the new century, but its roots reach back nearly one hundred years, to major corporations quest for stable, inexpensive, and pliant sources of labor Before the largest companies moved beyond national boundaries, they crossed state lines, abandoning the industrial centers of the Eastern Seaboard for impoverished rural communities in theGlobalization is the lead story of the new century, but its roots reach back nearly one hundred years, to major corporations quest for stable, inexpensive, and pliant sources of labor Before the largest companies moved beyond national boundaries, they crossed state lines, abandoning the industrial centers of the Eastern Seaboard for impoverished rural communities in the Midwest and South In their wake they left the decaying urban landscapes and unemployment rates that became hallmarks of late twentieth century America This is the story that Jefferson Cowie, in a stunningly important work of historical imagination and rediscovery Nelson Lichtenstein , tells through the lens of a single American corporation, RCA.Capital Moves takes us through the interconnected histories of Camden, New Jersey Bloomington, Indiana Memphis, Tennessee and Ju rez, Mexico four cities radically transformed by America s leading manufacturer of records and radio sets In a sweeping narrative of economic upheaval and class conflict, Cowie weaves together the rich detail of local history with the national and ultimately international story of economic and social change.

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      172 Jefferson R. Cowie
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      Posted by:Jefferson R. Cowie
      Published :2019-08-15T06:36:01+00:00

    About “Jefferson R. Cowie

    1. Jefferson R. Cowie says:

      Jefferson Cowie is the Andrew J Nathanson Professor in the ILR School at Cornell University His work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the New Republic, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.



    2 thoughts on “Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor

    1. Cowie argues that capital mobility is not a new phenomenon, that corporations (specifically and perhaps especially RCA because of being in competitive consumer electronics industry) sought sources of cheap labor they could control throughout the 20th century, even if "the pace and scope of events may have increased" with globalization. The book "focuses on the relationship between industrial investment and social change, and it is only peripherally concerned with the well-studied impact of 'dein [...]

    2. Labor historian Jefferson Cowie follows RCA's radio and television manufacturing operations from Camden, New Jersey to Bloomington, Indiana to Memphis, Tennessee and finally to a maquiladora industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. RCA's quest for a cheap, docile and sexually stratified workforce fails to ensure its survival as an independent company, but vividly illustrates the flight of capital to havens of cheap labor and lax regulation. Cowie's work is at once scholarly, compassionate and b [...]

    3. Surely belongs on the short list of best books on labor within the last twenty years. Cowie's Stayin' Alive is much better known, but I like this book better for a number of reasons—perhaps one of which is that Cowie feels slightly more hopeful hear than he does in Stayin' Alive. There is so much here—about the limits and promise of community-building at the local level, the spatial capabilities of capital vs. labor, the way the industrial process transforms social relations in a given place [...]

    4. Crowie argued that the RCA company, maker of records, radios, and televisions has developed a pattern of moving to labor markets with cheap female and perceived to be docile labor, in the wake of rising worker militancy. He traces this history from the southern and eastern European immigrants unionizing in the 1930s with United Electrical Workers in Camden NJ, to Scotch-Irish workers in Bloomington IN from the 1950s on, with a brief interlude to the growing militancy of African-American workers [...]

    5. In Capital Moves, Jefferson Cowie explains why the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) moved its radio and television factories to four different locations from the 1930’s to the 1990’s. Cowie shows the economic, social, and political factors behind these decisions, how the coming and going of factories impacted communities, and how those communities adapted to this process. He challenges labor historians to rethink numerous aspects of labor history, especially how capital mobility in an incr [...]

    6. Good book, good sources, good narrative, but limited utility. If you're looking for an all-encompassing account of globalization or the mobility of capital, this isn't that great of a book. If you're looking for something along the lines of an historical case study of RCA capital and labor relations, then this is an excellent book.Cowie brings the reader through each location that RCA moved its production to, why it moved, how it moved, and how it affected local labor and communities when it cam [...]

    7. An engaging history of communities where RCA had major manufacturing plants over the course the 20th century: Camden, Bloomington, Memphis and Ciudad Juarez. Provides an outstanding overview of why factories move, and the experiences of the people who are effected.

    8. Concisely written. Does not consider the practicalities of organizing across locations, nor sectoral shifts in the global economy, but I think this can be forgiven since the book achieved its goals so thoroughly.

    9. If you are intersted in labor history this is for you. For the other 99.9% of us, absolutely boring. The only thing I gained from this is a better understanding of the devastation felt by those who see their jobs shipped out of the country.

    10. Excellent book about deindustrialization, showing how unionized industrial jobs in the north started moving to the lower Midwest and South in the 1950s and then out of the country. Combines gender analysis, economics, labor history, etc very seamlessly.

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