Intern Nation

Intern Nation

How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

Book - 2011
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Interns. They famously shuttle coffee in a thousand newsrooms, MPs' offices, and film sets, but they also deliver aid in Afghanistan, design high-end fashions, and build the human genome. They are of all ages, and their numbers are growing fast in an increasingly bleak economic landscape for young people. A huge and increasing number of internships are illegal under minimum wage law and this mass exploitation saves companies millions each year. Interns enjoy no workplace protections and no standing in courts of law--let alone luxuries such as a living wage.

Ross Perlin, a self-confessed intern survivor, has written the first expos#65533; of the brave new world of unpaid work. In this witty, astonishing, and serious investigative work, Perlin takes the reader inside both boutique nonprofits and megacorporations such as Disney. He unmasks a grotesque internship industry where coveted, unpaid placements are auctioned off and universities are complicit in exploiting student labour. He profiles fellow interns, talks to historians about what unleashed this phenomenon, and explains why the intern boom is perverting workplace practices in locations all around the world.

Thought-provoking, insightful, and humorous, Intern Nation is an urgent call to overturn the latest racket in unpaid work.
Publisher: Brooklyn , NY : Verso Books, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781844676866
Branch Call Number: Education 371.227 PER


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roadshowrigoletto Jun 02, 2012

Let's start with the minor quibble: It's not "slavery." It more closely follows the concept of "peonage." But otherwise, no problem. After that, well, more later. It's a fascinating read. More evidence for the case that the only time anyone in this country believes any more in the concept of 'a day's wage for a day's labor' is when it's applied to welfare benefits. Certainly not to corporate subsidies. The Four Horesmen of the Apocolypse have nothing on the burgeoning forces of the Horsemen of Exclusion.

oldhag Jan 08, 2012

Originally, a college education was needed only by those who intended to become professors. In the U.S. a college degree began to be used as an exclusionary measure to disqualify the aspiring poor from eligibility for positions of power, perks, and priviledge. As more and more of the proletariat acquired bachelor degrees, the cost of college exploded exponentially, and the basic requirement for a middle-class job became a graduate degree; as more and more of the masses mired themselves, and their families, into debt to obtain a professional degree, the basic requirement began to include (of course) a sterling credit history (even for jobs having nothing to do with money); currently, an internship (most likely unpaid) has become the barrier requirement for entry-level career positions. "In a fascinating case study, the New York Times analyzed the nearly 1,500 interns who have worked unpaid at City Hall under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg...". Besides being financially unfeasible for people without an independent source of income, there's something deeply immoral about uncompensated labor in a capitalist society. Oh, I know, it's called slavery.


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