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Title: Queer Fordism : technological bodies moving otherwise
Author: Buckley, Jake
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 2801
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis analyses the temporal logic that informs the shift from Fordism to post-Fordism, a highly influential narrative for understanding how developments in technology affect the body in western nation-states from the late nineteenth century to the present. The thesis reads this shift as a history of touch and bodily mobility. First, I study the techniques of factory management known as Taylorism, which provided the basis for the Fordist socioeconomic system. Taylorized Fordism, I show, made working bodies touch technological objects in order to time, represent, and control bodily movements. However, I argue that Taylorized Fordist techniques organize bodies into a space of tactility, which is not the same as invoking Fordism as a predictable system of domination. Second, I discuss socio-historical accounts that outline the reasons for Fordism's eventual failure and replacement, all of which emphasize bodily flexibility as the quality that determines a post-Fordist time. I consider the fate of Taylorism in Fordism's ostensible demise, by explicating the subtlety with which Taylorism is superseded by the more flexible practice of ergonomics. Third, I conduct a philosophical analysis of what it means for bodies to be affected by post-Fordist changes in technological objects, most prominently the transition towards digital media. I refute the notion of a post-Fordist digital age, by arguing that Taylorized Fordism can be interpreted as a model of digital bodily function that persists uncomfortably in the present. The thesis concludes by arguing for the significance of touching tactile technological objects—and tactile technological bodies making contact with one another—in ways that produce stasis, rigidity, and hardness—Fordist qualities that are unfairly subordinated in a post-Fordist temporal frame. I call these relations 'queer Fordism', whereby a technological body's activity is not contemporaneous with a presumed Fordist-to-post-Fordist continuum.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available