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Literacy Work in the Reign of Human Capital$
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Evan Watkins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264223

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264223.001.0001

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Arrivals and Departures

Arrivals and Departures

Just in the Nick of Time

(p.59) Chapter 2 Arrivals and Departures
Literacy Work in the Reign of Human Capital

Evan Watkins

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers some of the differences between just-in-time principles and more familiar concepts of human capital. It argues that the most significant transformation in the imaginary of human capital has less to do with new technologies or mindsets than with how both production and marketing have been reconceptualized to require less and less of long-term resources. In a just-in-time system, human capital is individual power of action on the occasion, rather than the individual acquisition of a reserve that can be mobilized for an occasion. Moreover, the shift toward just-in-time human capital has a direct impact on merit principles. By eliminating the temporal basis of human capital reserves, just-in-time human capital simultaneously undermines the fundamentals necessary for merit principles to remain operative. This chapter also examines the importance of communication and highly sophisticated, specific forms of literacy to just-in-time business models.

Keywords:   human capital, production, marketing, power of action, just-in-time human capital, merit, communication, literacy

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