The Postindustrial Body [draft] chapter from the Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

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The Postindustrial Body [draft] chapter from the Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World
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   󰁃󰁨󰁡󰁰󰁴󰁥󰁲 󰀴󰀵 󰁁󰁲󰁣󰁨󰁡󰁥󰁯󰁬󰁯󰁧󰁩󰁥󰁳 󰁯󰁦 󰁴󰁨󰁥 󰁰󰁯󰁳󰁴󰁩󰁮󰁤󰁵󰁳󰁴󰁲󰁩󰁡󰁬 󰁢󰁯󰁤󰁹 󰁓󰁥󰁦󰁲󰁹󰁮 󰁐󰁥󰁮󰁲󰁯󰁳󰁥 󰀴󰀵.󰀱 I󰁮󰁴󰁲󰁯󰁤󰁵󰁣󰁴󰁩󰁯󰁮 A󰁲󰁣󰁨󰁡󰁥󰁯󰁬󰁯󰁧󰁩󰁥󰁳 of the body are most familiar to us in terms of analyses of skeletal remains, through the forensic arm of the discipline, and through examination of the body’s materi-als. ese archaeologies contribute to our knowledge of the lives and deaths of long-dead and not-so-long-dead individuals and groups. However, archaeology’s strength— perceived by some as a disciplinary weakness (e.g. Miller 1983; Hicks 2010: 60)—is in letting non-corporeal matter serve as a proxy for the body. While the imbalance of the strength of rep-resentations of the body may be clearly justified for bodies of the past, archaeologies of the contemporary are o󰀀en defined by the lived or transitional nature of their subject matter. One of the most controversial (but also the most useful) defining characteristics of contem-porary archaeology is the living resource: people, plants, and animals are still comprehen-sively involved in the sites of our studies, whether corporeally, materially, or mentally. As a result, the body itself may be seen as an archaeological site, and embodied selves as reveal-ing as, and in pluripotential relationships with, non-corporeal matter. is chapter focuses on human  bodies as sites for archaeology in the contemporary set-ting, and particularly on human bodies at work and play (see Badcock and Johnson, this  volume, on the body in protest/direct action). ese bodies are predominantly British or North American, and are involved in the industrial/postindustrial transition in the capi-talist system. e discussion herein focuses on the working ‘well’ or ‘absent’ body (Leder 1990). In doing so, this discussion does not examine in depth issues of difference, but sug-gests directions within the postindustrial transition in which the body may lead us. I outline three body ‘events’: the rise of scientific management and its creation of the assembly-line body; the subsequent emergence of the postindustrial managerial body; and the develop-ment of the gym-body, the body working-out. By unpacking these events, I track trajectories that clearly show how the body is in a reciprocal relationship with its economic framework which has shaped it, and which it shapes. In researching the postindustrial, it is clear that change has been written on bodies and by bodies in a manner that is still all pervasive in  󰀶󰀸󰀶 󰁓󰁥󰁦󰁲󰁹󰁮 󰁐󰁥󰁮󰁲󰁯󰁳󰁥 the sites in which we o󰀀en work. Beyond the realms of ruin, the contemporary is a peo-pled, active, changing world. e following events and trajectories track the production of a materialist, economically constituted anatomy, which I propose as the beginnings of an archaeology of postindustrial change that is corporeal and incorporated, a bodily engage-ment. It is not my intention to avoid more nuanced engagements with bodies (cf. Haraway 1991; Butler 1993), rather to suggest a framework within which we might start to approach bodies within contemporary archaeology as admissible archaeological evidence. 󰀴󰀵.󰀲 B󰁯󰁤󰁹/B󰁯󰁤󰁩󰁥󰁳 Behind every body is a complex set of circumstances that have brought it into being. I begin this exploration based on the acceptance of three overarching assertions. Firstly, the rejection of the division of mind/body (Gosden 2004; omas 2007). Secondly, that the body is a cul-tural construction that is in flux, with historical incarnations and interpretations. e body can be seen as a ‘location’ (Durkheim 1984; Shilling 2005: 11) for the material conditions of society (Marx and Engels 1978: 150), and for collective fabrication of society, constituting itself in relation to its conditions (Shilling 2005: 37). Further, bodies are assemblages of biological, sociological, and psychological circumstances, ‘ensemble[s] of techniques of the body’ that emerge in different cultures, what Mauss terms a ‘psycho-sociological taxonomy’ (Mauss 1973: 73). irdly, that the body is gendered. Feminism’s engagement with the gen-dered form—as culturally determined—opened a discourse on the externally informed conditioning at work on the gendered body. e sexed body is gendered (Grosz 1994), and both sex and gender are products of the cultural hegemony (Butler 1993: 63). Accepting these understandings of the body and bodies as contextually contingent beings allows us to develop a view of the body in a reciprocal relationship with the world, mutually constituting and changing. 󰀴󰀵.󰀳 T󰁨󰁥 B󰁯󰁤󰁹 󰁡󰁴 W󰁯󰁲󰁫 e way that bodies have altered, and the way that working practices have altered to accom-modate readings of the body, is illustrative of the lived transition from industrial to postin-dustrial. is section considers trends that have altered the working body in the last century and a half, and suggests ways in which, from a contemporary archaeological standpoint, we might track the transition to postindustrialism on the body itself. Work here is defined as those actions of the body engaged in production, but not necessarily limited to economic production. Conceptually, this section addresses moments in which particular sections of the workforce have been affected, bodily, by wider trends. We might consider the usefulness of Haraway’s (1991) cyborg metaphor in this context. In terms of contemporary archae-ology, it is my suggestion that an investigation of emergent capitalist bodies through the tracking of particular body work ‘events’ will enable a visibility in the record of changes to the lived body, the way it is lived, experienced, in Butler’s terms, performed, that can enhance contemporary archaeologies of lived sites.  󰁁󰁲󰁣󰁨󰁡󰁥󰁯󰁬󰁯󰁧󰁩󰁥󰁳 󰁯󰁦 󰁴󰁨󰁥 󰁰󰁯󰁳󰁴󰁩󰁮󰁤󰁵󰁳󰁴󰁲󰁩󰁡󰁬 󰁢󰁯󰁤󰁹 󰀶󰀸󰀷  Capitalism is ‘a world still very much engaged in making itself’ as recent shi󰀀s in the economic cosmos have shown (Mrozowski 2006: 3). Capitalism has been engaged in a clas-sificatory process, and continues to be so. In the first half of the twentieth century increased automation produced a semi-skilled or low-skilled urban populace and a new stratum of management worker. In the last half century, a postindustrial middle/worker class has emerged out of both these sectors, while the emergence of an urban non-worker class, or ‘underclass’, has altered the understanding of the term ‘working class’. Although said to be a British preoccupation, class identifications associated with types of work have created confused and divided societies across the world, o󰀀en, and perhaps always, written and differentiated on the body. 󰀴󰀵.󰀳.󰀱 Taylorism F. W. Taylor (1911) outlined how companies could operate more effectively by stream-lining and ordering the work of the labouring body, and increasing the volume of man-agement. e capacities of the body together with the mind were the route to increasing productivity, and hence to increasing profit. Capital was lost through the natural laziness of men (Taylor 1911: 3), and through simple, ‘scientifically’ determined steps, greater effi -ciency of the human body could be achieved for the betterment of all concerned (Taylor 1911: 4). e ‘time and motion studies’ that he proposed, based on work by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (Gilbreth 1910), took the body as the base for capital achievement. e actions of the bodies—movements, forces, rest periods, li󰀀ing and carrying capacities—were examined, reduced to those that were purely necessary, and accompanied by a greater managerial role. e worker’s body was effectively relieved of its autonomy. e studies did the same with machinery, fitting it to the men and women who worked it. e ultimate aim of Taylor’s principles was to achieve a machine-like reliability that eliminated human and mechanical failing and ensured uniformity: of process, people, components, input, and output. Both Taylor and Gilbreth emphasized that only ‘first-class men’ (Taylor 1911: 18) or ‘100-per-cent quality’ men (Gilbreth 1910: 23) should be employed for these studies, and that similar ‘classes’ of men should be sought for the same kinds of work. e highest achievable output therefore became the benchmark in their studies. It should be noted, however, that the Gilbreths applied their methods to women’s typing pools. e presence of the ‘first-class man’ in the literature does not preclude women from this consideration of changes to workplace culture—in the home, factory, and offi ce setting—despite elisions in the literature (Figure 45.1). Taylor (1911) gave the example of workers shi󰀀ing pig-iron from a stockpile to carts for transportation to the factory. rough time and motion studies, observers determined that the right sort of man could shi󰀀 47 imperial tons per day (1016kg/2240lb = ton) instead of the average of 12. By observing workers at close quarters and creating levels of hands-on management previously unknown, Taylorian bodies could be pushed to new limits. Accompanying the reorganization of the physical labourer was the institution of a level of management that progressed from the lone foreman or gang-master to a category of middle management worker. For these men and women, work would be observational, ensuring that the work of others was done to time and with the correct motions. Both Taylor and Gilbreth acknowledged or claimed an understanding of anatomy that drove  󰀶󰀸󰀸 󰁓󰁥󰁦󰁲󰁹󰁮 󰁐󰁥󰁮󰁲󰁯󰁳󰁥 their methods. Taylorism became influential in the structuring of the workplace, with the capacities of the body providing the central tenet behind the organization of facto-ries, building sites, and offi ces, and effectively creating the categories of the blue- and white-collar worker. It ensured Taylor’s canonization as the father of modern management and was instrumental in the rise of managerialism. e Taylorist separation of the concep-tion and execution of labour fed Marx’s category of ‘alienated labour’, when the  practical need   to labour was harnessed by exploitative forces (Marx 1978: 50, 75) in the new organ-ized workplace. 󰀴󰀵.󰀳.󰀲 Fordism Assembly line manufacturing developed through the nineteenth century with the intention of speeding up manufacturing processes. At Ford’s, the ‘flywheel magneto moving assembly line’ was honed according to scientific management methods, and automated. Each process of production was timed, and the moving assembly line meant that workers were ruled by its ever-increasing speeds, set according to time studies (Beynon 1984: 38). Workers per-formed one task, remaining stationary in most cases while the lines moved and converged through different sets of workers fulfilling different tasks (Figure 45.2). is kind of produc-tion allowed Ford to adopt economies of scale large enough that, although the work was dif-ficult, high wages—the $5-day—ensured that workers were easily recruited, if not retained, and no other companies could come close to competing. It allowed Ford to build produc-tion to unprecedented levels, and to achieve his aim of creating a workforce that could consume what it made. In this way, machines took over the job of the foreman-timekeeper, removing the management to the ‘planning room or department’ specified by Taylor as a necessity for the effective corporation (Taylor 1911: 59). At Ford’s, Taylor’s and Gilbreth’s advice on the ‘first-class’ worker was extended to aspects of life beyond the workplace. Ford was an influential exponent of prohibition and forbade drinkers among his workforce, exclaiming to a reporter in 1930, ‘ . . . do you think a man can work in this factory if he drinks? Well, he can’t! We watch them as they come in. We smell their breaths’ (quoted in Time  1930). Observation extended to the home, with Ford’s ‘Sociology Department’ responsible for analysis of individuals, ostensibly to determine 󰁦󰁩󰁧󰁵󰁲󰁥 󰀴󰀵.󰀱 Stereoscopic motion study image of ‘champion typists’ by Frank B. Gilbreth, c  .󰀱󰀹󰀱󰀵. (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University)  󰁁󰁲󰁣󰁨󰁡󰁥󰁯󰁬󰁯󰁧󰁩󰁥󰁳 󰁯󰁦 󰁴󰁨󰁥 󰁰󰁯󰁳󰁴󰁩󰁮󰁤󰁵󰁳󰁴󰁲󰁩󰁡󰁬 󰁢󰁯󰁤󰁹 󰀶󰀸󰀹 whether workers were eligible for the profit-share system that made the company so attrac-tive (Hooker 1997: 48). e Sociology Department’s investigators, among them physicians, sought a template for ‘good Ford men’, based on a sound marital home, thri󰀀iness, sobriety, and cultural aspects that determined that of the first 1,400 to be admitted, 1,381 were of British ancestry (Hooker 1997: 47). e pursuit of a puritanical figure was, according to Gramsci, necessary for the creation of a workforce prepared for the arduous and repetitive work that Ford’s required. A man free from passion would be up to the task, but a man (women were initially barred from the $5-a-day scheme [Hooker 1997: 48]) distracted by sex or drink was not (Gramsci 1999: 601). While Ford had many critics of his autocracy, the company’s contributions to improve-ments in housing and care provision and commitment to ‘Americanization’ maintained its popularity. But the pressures on the body demanded by the assembly line led to significant physical or mental strain or illness in workers (Beynon 1984: 38), both long and short-term, with accidents and illnesses part and parcel of some jobs within Ford plants, and other, sub-tler strains, showing elsewhere. A letter from a worker’s wife to Ford himself illustrates the diffi culty of making the grade as a ‘good Ford man’:  e chain system that you have is a slavedriver   . My God!, Mr. Ford—My husband has come home & thrown himself down & won’t eat his supper—so done out! Can’t it be remedied? at 󰀤󰀵 a day is a blessing—a bigger one than you know, but oh  they earn it. (Volti 󰀲󰀰󰀰󰀸: 󰀴󰀲) e extreme mechanization and its toll contributed to strong trade unionism (repre-sentative perhaps of Marx’s worker alienation as a driver for change [Marx and Engels 󰁦󰁩󰁧󰁵󰁲󰁥 󰀴󰀵.󰀲 Production line of the Austin A󰀳󰀰 (Seven) in the Car Assembly Building at British Motor Corporation’s Longbridge factory 󰀱󰀹󰀵󰀳 (reproduced with permission from British Motor Industry Heritage Trust)
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