Shifting boundaries

Gender, labor, and new information and communication technology

Authored by: Ursula Huws

The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415527699
eBook ISBN: 9780203066911
Adobe ISBN: 9781135076955


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To speak of labor is to tap into a convoluted root system of entangled meanings. The word “labor” is associated both with the affirmative exertion of giving birth and with the expenditure of physical effort on other activities, including the punishment of “hard labor.” It also has more abstract collective connotations (as in “division of labor,” “organized labor,” or “labor movement”). Linking the concept to that of creativity adds new dimensions of complexity. A “work” can be a triumphant artistic achievement (a painting, a symphony, or a Victorian lady’s needlecraft), but “working” can also refer to daily drudgery.

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