Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels.
The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States.
Drawing on more than in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry.
He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors.
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Steve Viscelli is a political sociologist and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy.
In addition to his academic research, he works with a range of public and private stakeholders to make the trucking industry safer, more efficient, and a better place to work.
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About the Book Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. From Our Blog.
About the Author Steve Viscelli is a political sociologist and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. Reviews " The Big Rig is sure to become the touchstone study of U.
Coupling fascinating accounts of personal struggles with sharp structural analyses linking these struggles to macroeconomic forces, it is the best kind of ethnographic sociology. The Big Rig is a strong contribution to scholarship on work and occupations, economic sociology, and institutional analysis. This rich ethnographic account is grounded in sociological inquiry of labor relations and age-old questions of capitalist interests and class struggle.
It combines gripping fine-grained ethnographic accounts of the lived reality of long-haul truck driving in the United States today with a compelling analysis of the macro-structural conditions in which those lives are lived and an historical account of the political economic forces that generated those conditions.
These intersecting analyses generate powerful insights into two of the most fundamental questions about the nature of inequality in the United States today: Where do so many bad jobs come from, and why do people put up with them? The book is a vivid and readable ethnography. It is smart and well-informed.