Wednesday, February 22, 2012


IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



Temple University Press


The Company We Keep: Occupational Community in the High-Tech Network Society

by Daniel Marschall

204 pp

cloth: $69.50, Jan 12

EAN: 978-1-43990-755-9

ISBN: 1-4399-0755-2

Electronic Book: $69.50

EAN: 978-1-43990-757-3



At the birth of the Internet Age, computer technologists in small, aggressive software development companies became part of a unique networked occupational community. They were creative, team-oriented, and enthusiastic workers who built “boundaryless careers,” hopping from one employer to another.


In his absorbing ethnography The Company We Keep, sociologist Daniel Marschall immerses himself in IntenSivity, one such technological workplace. Chronicling the employees' experiences, Marschall examines how these workers characterize their occupational culture, share values and work practices, and help one another within their community. He sheds light on the nature of this industry marked by highly skilled jobs and rapid technological change.


The experiences at IntenSivity are now mirrored by employees at Facebook and thousands of other cutting-edge, high-tech start-up firms. The Company We Keep helps us understand the emergence of virtual work communities and the character of the contemporary labor market at the level of a small enterprise.



"The Company We Keep traces the rise and fall of a high-tech software firm in ways that illuminate our current moment, in particular how an organizational community of hardcore software developers shapes the digital architectures through which we increasingly live. It is a strong contribution to the emerging literature on technologists and how they organize their work."

—Thomas M. Malaby, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and author of Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life




Prologue: First Encounters of a Techie Kind

1. Network Society and Occupational Community

2. Setting: A “Monster Soft Dev Shop” in Silicon Swamp

3. Constructing Occupational Identity

4. Forging Bonds on Projects and Products

5. Language and the Persistence of Community

Epilogue: Remembering the “Wild Ride” . . .and What Happened to Its Participants



About the Author(s)


Daniel Marschall is a Professorial Lecturer in Sociology at The George Washington University. He works for the AFL-CIO as the Federation's Policy Specialist for Workforce Issues.




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