SIGCIS 2012 Workshop, Traditional Papers II: Information Societies

Name: Ian Martin
Institutional Affiliation: Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
E-mail address:
Paper Type: Traditional
Paper Title: Power, Prestige and Wealth: Social Stratification in Data-Processing Work
Paper Abstract: This paper explores the construction and negotiation of hierarchical identities in 1970s data-processing work. Through a case study of computing labour in Britain's biggest bank, I show how the creation of a ‘brokering’ role bridging operations and programming worlds enabled a group of operators to elevate the status of computer operations beyond the boundaries drawn between the conception of work and its execution. My research, which draws on archival material and a number of interviews with former operators and programmers, aims to add an extra dimension to the 'new' computing labour literature by Ensmenger, Haigh and Hicks and the 'old' by Braverman, Greenbaum and Kraft.