The Paradigm Drift

“Life today has become analogous with work – and it increasingly displays all the contemporary characteristics of work in what has been described as the ‘new capitalism’: permanent flux, constant change, and structural indeterminacy.”

Deuze, 2006

This weeks topic has my head turning in all directions, while I tried to come to terms with the notion of liquid labour and the changing environments of the workplace.

Liquid labour is derived from the decentralised network, in which a contemporary (non) space workplace is created allowing employees to become ‘knowledge workers’. Thereby transitioning from an industrial rhythmic machine towards a process of chronic sorting of the information flows. The transition to new decentralised nodes has change and reshaped the paradigm of coordination and control.

This reshaping has blurred the borders of the personal information spaces, by allowing each individual to be in multiple places at once. Thus breaking down the structure if the industrial network and reforming it with a move towards a freelancing, casual and temporary form of liquid life. This therefore, has both a positive and negative effect on the work-life balance, as leaving work at work and leaving your personal life at home is nearly impossible in this day and age as we are constantly emerging within new technologies and media’s (Henry Jenkins).

But within this shift, what does it mean for us, as individuals, as workers and humans within this paradigm?

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12 thoughts on “The Paradigm Drift

  1. You gave a detailed and understandable explanation of what liquid labour is.
    I like the argument you made about how leaving work at work and leaving your personal life at home is almost impossible as we are constantly emerging within new media and technology, which is a shame.
    Your meme is engaging and makes an accurate point, prompting readers to question the future of our workforce.
    However, l would of liked to of heard your opinion in the conclusion about the shift and what it means for us and the rest of working society. Great post!

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  2. It is true that this a confusing topic to understand but I feel as if you’ve written a blog which simplifies the idea of liquid labour and its effect on society. I believe that the shift may have facilitated the lives of many people due to the possibility of working away from an office, because as you mentioned there is a crossover of personal and work life, increasingly so in this day and age.

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  3. You have put a lot of work into this topic which I found quite abstract and not so clear. However your post has helped me out. And you’ve incorporated the readings too! Even better. I cant fault your post it does remediate (more so explain the lecture lightly) the lecture with a couple of memes too.

    In my opinion, to answer your question, it means that there is no boundary. There is no separation. I’m doing instagram post scheduling and curation for a local business. A site we use to schedule posts is hootsuite. To maintain an impressive online presence we’re posting quite regurlary on instagram. The posts get scheduled, you download the app on your phone, and receive constant notifications during the day, night and my days off, to post “this post” to instagram. This is just a minor example but it contributes to your argument and question.

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  4. I would have loved to see your thoughts on the question you posed; are you willing to embrace this new lifestyle? Who do you think will benefit from this shift? How will productivity be effected?
    With my future career focused on editorial which will be based in an office setting, working from home would bring many benefits both financial and time-wise. I wouldn’t have to travel which saves me either petrol or money on public transport, I also wouldn’t have to travel upwards of an hour to get to my office in Sydney (if I was working there). An article I read from the Huffington Post also touted the wider benefits to society which included a smaller impact on the environment as fewer people had to drive to work. Also, a company would save money since they wouldn’t have to spend as much on office supplies and they could rent out a smaller office only for those who do need to come in for work.
    Here’s the article if you’re interested in reading the entire piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-kuegler/why-the-work-from-home-tr_b_11146344.html
    I feel technology has allowed for smaller businesses to thrive since they can cut costs and it also gives the potential for stay at home parents to continue working without having to worry about the care of their children.

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  5. With the paradigm shift, you’re right, keeping work and leisure separate is almost impossible to do. Its beneficial in many ways however, by separating the two are we changing the way that the development of the internet and its users have evolved over time. We both know that in class the struggle can be real in trying to stay of social media or having a look at our phones, or even keeping tabs opened. I don’t think we should be looking at just the transcendence in technology but the way generations have also evolved and understood it. Similar to BCM240, the relationship with the technology is also very important to look at. I really liked your post this week. 🙂

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  6. This topic really makes you think. I sometimes find it hard to get my head around the idea that myself and everyone else around me is constantly engaging online, within the distributed network we’re all a part of. Really great overview of this weeks topic. It would have been cool if you included some examples of liquid labour or your view on the future of this paradigm, as you ask in your question. 🙂

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  7. I too was confused by the concept of liquid labour, but you have managed to explain in great detail what the idea entails. I think it is difficult living in this day and age to completely switch off from ‘work life’ to ‘home life’ when we have such an abundance of technological devices pulling us back. I like how you ended the blog with a question to let your readers contemplate this concept.

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  8. Hey! This paradigm shift we are finding ourselves in has intertwined personal nodes with the ones we are employed in. This distributed network has inverted the logic of extraction of labour, giving the impression that workers must be constantly available. I found this link that may be of interest you ( http://blog.commander.com/how-technology-has-changed-workplace-communications/ ).

    It discusses how technology in the workplace is currently having implications to both employers and employees, the advancements in communicative technologies that not only alter our interactions, but also essences of our lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I think you explained the concept of liquor labour really well ! I think it is so hard to turn of “work life” and switch to leisure time when we are constantly surrounded my technology ! Technology has had a strong impact on work and home life. But there are positives and negatives and so getting the right balance is the key. You should have a look at this article on The Impact of Technology on Our Work and Family Lives!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judi-casey/the-impact-of-technology-_b_1932974.html?ir=Australia

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  10. Hi, very noice post.You broke down the content in a really convenient easy to read way which is definitely appreciated. The rapid changing of the work-life balance is something I’ve honestly never really thought about in relation to new technologies, it’s incredible how connected we are to all these different facets of our lives at once and I wonder what some of the implications might be if not now but in the future as the two become more and more intertwined. Just structurally, you could possibly mix up the post with a few links and pics to break up the writing but good post!

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  11. Your post is good, and your thoughts on work and home/personal life was interesting as I haven’t thought about it that much. Breaking down the content was very done and made it easier to understand. It would have been great to hear some of your thoughts though on the questions you left at the end, and I think if you had done that it would have enhanced your blog. I would to suggest that you pick some sources to back up your work and statements, it would have also made your points more solid. It is hard to keep work life and personal life in different spaces especially when it comes down to social media. If you think about it, bad things that we post on social media can have a really horrible effect on our work lives. Overall great post!
    – Bec

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