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Non Stop Inertia Paperback – 1 Mar 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (1 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846945305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846945304
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 0.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Ivor Southwood has incisively tapped into the emotional landscape of the always-available, always-looking-for-work world of precarious labour - and passionately found a way to navigate around and beyond the incessant stupefaction. Writing, from the inside, about the monotonous unpredictability of intermittent work, the privatisation of welfare and its often absurdly punishing routines, an intimately managed emotional labour that is as exhausting as it is pointless, and covering theories of the spread of contingent work in an accessible way, Southwood has accomplished something extraordinary. Non-Stop Intertia registers the tragedy and the farce, elicits anger and laughter and, finally, shows that while it might not always be possible to withdraw one's labour by going on strike, it might be necessary to withhold the emotional connection that is demanded in the exchange. Non-Stop Inertia's witty riposte, in short, is to behave as the robot that we are expected to be, as a way beyond being treated as if one is. A beautiful book. --(Angela Mitropoulos, Queen Mary, University of London, author of Precari-Us?)

About the Author

Ivor Southwood has worked as a mental health nurse and studied literature and media. He has also done various temporary jobs and is interested in the culture of precarious work.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book articulates the sense of what it is like to live, to be alive, in a world that not everyone can so easily adapt and fit into and actually might not want to adapt and fit into the way it is currently formatted for most. It's a book that makes you realise zombies are real and that you might be one of them. It is passionately written and current. And if you want to know what it's like living in the UK and how the buzz words of corporate life are keeping you on your toes gong no where - this is the book.
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Excellent book. I really feel for the author, having had many similar experiences in the world of work. The writing style and acuteness are brilliant. He manages to keep his ego distant from the description of this world. A definite recommendation especially for those interested in modern western society or left-wing politics
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Format: Paperback
I have had my own suspicions along these lines and Southwood confirms that my increasing unease has a basis beyond my imagination. The book is short and to the point and provides excellent examples of the ideas it puts across. Its dry humour that had me laughing out loud again and again. If you can no longer bring yourself to declare with a straight face that you are "passionate about customer service", to consider all aspects of your life in terms of what they add your CV, to make yourself contactable at all times, to commute long hours as though it were nothing...this book may just help you put your finger on exactly why you feel like your dignity is being eroded.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a ton of books on critical theory and the sociology of work, but this book really stands out. It's short, powerful, jargon-free, and deals with some of the most pressing issues of our time. The writing also benefits from the fact that Southwood has personally experienced the injustices of the system he criticises. How he wrote this without being overcome by anguish is beyond me. I can't recommend this book enough.
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This is a nicely written essay and an entertaining read. It makes you thankful (if) you aren't stuck in the lifeless 'jobs' this guy seems to spend his time doing. I get Southwood's point and can identify with his complaints - it's a bitch being stuck in temporary low-paid work if you want something better, and the world you inhabit as an agency robot is almost meaningless. But as with most leftist polemics it paints a black and white view of life: capitalism is wicked and the world is evil because it doesn't make the most dreadful jobs fulfilling and socialism will cure everything and everyone is against the humble worker. It's well-meaning, kind, and far from 'nasty' (so are most children) but naive. Aside from the slightly bitter tone of the book (and anyway, why on earth is a guy who can write and think at this level spending his time in dire shelf-stacking jobs and then complaining?) I caught an attitude that suggested everyone in those temporary positions loathes the work and finds their life meaningless. This seems an arrogant assumption coming from someone clearly very intelligent. No wonder he is frustrated - he should progress to a more fulfilling job and quit moaning. I don't think everyone in low paid work and agency work is miserable. As for capitalism, if it weren't for Amazon's onsalught, sales of books like this would remain minute - it would be sensible to admit there are some upsides to capitalism. Finally, the author's idea that only the miserable temorary underling thinks rebellious thoughts about 'the wicked system', never the managers or higher-ups, is short sighted. Everyone with an ounce of intelligence knows they're all playing a 'part' in the non-place of the modern work environment.Read more ›
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Ivor Southwood gets to the nub of post-modern, post-Fordian 'angst' with this stunning little book. He rants eloquently on subjects which should ring a, pavlovian, bell with all 'outsiders' and a few 'insiders' to.

He spits deserved disgust at the incipience of what passes for work in the land of the take away, throw away, robotic, sleepwalking, temping, zero hours contract, Mcjob nightmare, and fires all his guns at the worthless terms and drab world of the government placebo that is the job centre plus and its toxic ideology.

A microscopic look at the self help, living with insecurity, creation that attempts to engulf us. A stunning insight that is a clarion call to any self respecting 'citizen' to take up arms and smash the all pervading, smile for the camera, insanity of it all.
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