In today's precarious world, working people's experiences are strangely becoming more alike even as their disparities sharpen.
The Fight for Time explores the logic behind this paradox by listening to what Latino day laborers say about work and society.
The book shows how migrant laborers are both exception and synecdoche in relation to the precarious conditions of contemporary work life.
As unauthorized migrants, these workers are subjected toextraordinarily harsh treatment - yet in startling ways, they also epitomize struggles that apply throughout the economy.
Juxtaposing day laborers' descriptions of their desperate circumstances and dangerous work with theoretical accounts of the forces fueling insecurity, The Fight for Time illuminates the temporalcontradictions that define precarity today.
The book taps the core intellectual current among day labor groups - Paulo Freire's popular-education theory - to craft an original "critical-popular" approach for understanding the points of connection between the ways that day laborers view their lives and scholarly analysis of precarious work-life writ large.
The result is a temporally attuned and politically bracing perspective on neoliberal crises, the work ethic in the era of affective anddigital labor, the intensifying racial governance of public spaces, the burgeoning deportation regime, and the growth of occupational safety and health hazards.
The accounts of the day laborers in this book are rich with potential to catalyze social critique among migrant workers - and clarify the termson which mass-scale opposition to precarity can occur.
Such opposition would demand restoration of workers' stolen time, engage in a fight for the city, challenge the conditions under which aversion to financial risk puts workers into physical danger, and foment the refusal of work.
We can look to the urban worker centers where this radically democratic politics of precarity is taking root to understand what types of organizations have the potential to wage the fight for time and enable broadmobilization in the face of precarity: worker centers for all working people.