By Filip Vostal (auth.)
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Additional info for Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time
At the same time, in contrast to other early modern or pre-modern socio-cultural regimes (such as the reign of the Catholic Church), the late-modern context does not provide for or allow ideas or institutions of potential ‘reconciliation’. All failures, shortcomings and ‘sins’ fall back directly to the subject: ‘it is exclusively our own fault if we are unhappy or fail to stay in the race’ (2010a: 99). There is a very specific problem in the critical perspectives discussed, which ultimately instigates the present inquiry.
The notion of competition is often associated with social acceleration (Rosa 2010a: 27–28); however, its structurally inscribed capitalist characteristics and the question around political economy remain only gestural in existing accounts that discuss the relationship between capitalism and acceleration. The basic political-economic definition could be expressed as follows: capitalist competition is organized around the need to extract surplus value from labour and subsequently recast this value as profit.
In 1914 when Henry Ford introduced the ‘five-dollar and eight-hour day’, it was the logical heir to and climax of established technologies and practices in the organization of labour that had developed in the second half of the 19th century. Despite the fact that Ford extended and entrenched distinct labour processes, he also followed the corporate form of business organization and drew upon FW Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management (originally published in 1911). Taylor advocated a set of principles which would radically increase labour productivity by breaking down each process ‘into component motions and organizing fragmented work tasks according to rigorous standards of time and motion study’ (Harvey 1989: 125).
Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal (auth.)