Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary

Speaker: Louis Hyman
Date recorded: Dec 5, 2018
Why has work become insecure? Data & Society welcomes historian Louis Hyman for a talk on the surprising origins of the “gig economy.”

Historian Louis Hyman on the surprising origins of the “gig economy.” Hyman is joined in conversation by Data & Society’s Labor Engagement Lead Aiha Nguyen and Researcher Alex Rosenblat.

Hyman’s latest book “Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary” tracks the transformation of an ethos that favored long-term investment in work (and workers) to one promoting short-term returns. A series of deliberate decisions preceded the digital revolution, setting off the collapse of the postwar institutions that insulated us from volatility including big unions, big corporations, and powerful regulators.

Through the experiences of those on the inside–consultants and executives, temps and office workers, line workers and migrant laborers–Temp shows how the American Dream was unmade.