Business/Corporate America

In 1925, Calvin Coolidge uttered the oft-repeated remark: “The business of America is business.” Over the course of the twentieth century, the United States underwent a profound transformation in its industrial practices, as small factories and local crafts gave way to large national and multinational corporations. In the process, the ways that Americans work changed dramatically, for this change has had an enormous impact on the places, products, and psyches of American male workers. It increased the desire to own a business, left management–worker relations more impersonal and bureaucratic, and distanced owners from managers and workers in salary and prestige. In the midst of these trends, traditional definitions of manhood gave way to newer definitions grounded in the social reality of corporate hierarchies.

The Rise of ...

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