Recently, a number of news outlets have reported on the increasing numbers of college grads taking unpaid internships--and the steadily growing backlash to this condition, citing Ross Perlin’s groundbreaking study, Intern Nation. Time Magazine predicts the end of the unpaid internship, with Perlin noting,“I think we may be at the very early stages of a significant backlash against an internship phenomenon that has gone off the rails.”
However, The New York Times reports that the demand for unpaid internships remains high despite. Speaking to journalist Steven Greenhouse, Perlin reflected,
The people in charge in many industries were once interns and they’ve come of age, and to them unpaid internships are completely normal and they think of having interns in every way, shape and form.
Perlin also appeared in a video interview for The Nation to speak about precarious labor as a whole, pointing out the ways in which internships fit into a larger picture of a new precarious class. He additionally spoke to The Bat Segundo Show about the difficulties of gauging public opinion on internships, stating:
I think it’s hard to know what the degree of public support for interns is. In the UK, the public has been polled on the issue. And there’s a very strong feeling that interns should be paid. And a very strong majority feels that what goes on now is wrong. In the U.S., it’s hard to know. But I suspect you would still see most people thinking interns should be paid. But there are complex feelings. And I think that part of it is because there is, as you say, a strange dichotomy. Interns are both privileged and exploited at the same time.
The updated paperback edition of Intern Nation is now available.
In a two-part installment, Guernica Magazine has excerpted "Things" from José Saramago's short story collection, The Lives of Things. To be published on April 25 to coincide with Portugal's Carnation Revolution, The Lives of Things comprises Saramago's sole collection of short fiction and offers a look at his early experimentations with the themes of social decay, alienation, and political repression that would become hallmarks of his celebrated novels.
Visit Guernica to read "Things" in full.
In a new article for The Nation, Occupy! co-editor Astra Taylor discusses the challenges faced by Occupy Wall Street in harnessing both mainstream media and social networking sites to disseminate information about itself, further complicated by the principles of transparency that undergird the movement. Reflecting on the initial success of "savvy social media use and name-brand coverage," she notes:
But now, as Occupy endeavors to find its footing in a post-encampment phase, it may need a new approach. The limitations of social media and the downside of total transparency are revealing themselves just as mainstream media attention is waning. If Occupy doesn’t become more strategic about the images and messages it projects, the movement may be left talking to itself.
Visit The Nation to read the article in full.
Citing Ross Perlin's groundbreaking book, New York Magazine's Intelligencer has published a new chart that breaks down the stats on internships from a poll of one hundred New York-based interns, noting:
An intern-rights movement is afoot, sparking class-action suits against Hearst and Fox Searchlight; rumors of new rules at Condé Nast; a Times “Ethicist” column (headline: “The Internship Rip-Off”); and a book (Intern Nation) decrying many of the unpaid jobs as boondoggles.
Visit New York Magazine to view the full chart and read more.
The recent violent rampage of an American soldier in Afghanistan who killed 16 civilians has sparked yet another uneasy investigation into US military presence in the Middle East, and in particular, how these shocking instances of violence germinate. In a new article for Latitude News, Joshua E.S. Phillips weighs in on the incident, and goes on to describe the mixed reactions he encountered on his tour for None of Us Were Like This Before, which details the lasting psychological trauma of torture on both detainees and American soliders. Phillips remarks:
I saw people use the book as a prism for viewing U.S. policy, veterans’ issues, and the legacy of torture. For some, the book stoked anti-American sentiment. Some fumed that it didn’t neatly focus blame on President George W. Bush, though the book showed how Bush’s decision to ignore the Geneva Convention on detainee treatment catalyzed what followed. Others were angry that it didn’t emphasize one group’s pain over the other.
Visit Latitude News to read the story in full.
Verso will publish the updated paperback edition of None of Us Were Like This Before in July 2012.