Working Together

Working Together : How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy

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The typical workplace is a hotbed of human relationships-of friendships, conflicts, feuds, alliances, partnerships, coexistence and cooperation. Here, problems are solved, progress is made, and rifts are mended because they need to be - because the work has to get done. And it has to get done among increasingly diverse groups of co-workers. At a time when communal ties in American society are increasingly frayed and segregation persists, the workplace is more than ever the site where Americans from different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds meet and forge serviceable and sometimes lasting bonds. What do these highly structured workplace relationships mean for a society still divided by gender and race? Structure and rules are, in fact, central to the answer. Workplace interactions are constrained by economic power and necessity, and often by legal regulation. They exist far from the civic ideal of free and equal citizens voluntarily associating for shared ends. Yet it is the very involuntariness of these interactions that helps to make the often-troubled project of racial integration comparatively successful at work. People can be forced to get along-not without friction, but often with surprising success. This highly original exploration of the paradoxical nature-and the paramount importance-of workplace bonds concludes with concrete suggestions for how law can further realize the democratic possibilities of working together. In linking workplace integration and connectedness beyond work, Estlund suggests a novel and promising strategy for addressing the most profound challenges facing American more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 142.2 x 221 x 15.2mm | 340.2g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195158296
  • 9780195158298
  • 1,699,116

Review quote

"Working Together is an original and important book. With eloquent prose, Cynthia Estlund convincingly develops the argument, based on a careful integration of empirical studies and social and political theory, that working together enhances inter-group relations in the long run. Indeed her analysis demonstrates the work place is the most important setting for cooperative interaction among individuals of diverse backgrounds. This book has enormous relevance for students concerned about the future of civil society, and will be widely discussed and cited for many years."-William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard Universityshow more

About Cynthia Estlund

Cynthia Estlund is a Professor of Law at Columbia University, where she teaches employment, labor, and property more