Talent and the Specter of Uselessness
The purpose of this summary is to highlight the main ideas of Richard Sennett from chapter two in the book Culture of the New Capitalism. In the Great Depression individuals believed that “their children should get an education and a special skill which would make the young always needed and employed” (p. 83, 84). Today this is still the same remedy we seek by, however making it difficult because many of the skilled labour industries have relocated to places around the world where it is much cheaper in cost. Sennett states that there are three forces that shape the specter of uselessness as a modern threat: the global labour supply, automation and management of ageing. It has always been up in the air that one day machines or robots will replace the manufacturing sector eliminating skilled men and woman. Sennett uses two good examples including Sprint Corporation as well as the steel production in the United States to prove his point that modern workers are finally facing the specter of automates uselessness. In society everyone grows old, and at some point we all become uselessness in the sense of unproductively. Sennett states that in our world today it has become evident that markets continue to make it cheaper to buy fresh skills rather than to pay for retraining for the workers who are ageing. Craftsmanship can give skilled labourers, but more importantly unskilled labourers pride in their work. Sennett says that “a key aspect of craftsmanship is learning how to get something right” (p 127). We have to make mistakes and keep trying in order to improve. Any workplace should want their employees to learn from their mistakes however ideally many big firms do not which creates an atmosphere of frustrated employees. How can a society become more worthy and beneficial? Sennett believes that if we develop more special talents or particual skills we can eliminate as well...
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