Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

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Verso Books, May 9, 2011 - Political Science - 258 pages
Interns. They famously shuttle coffee in a thousand newsrooms, MPs' offices, and film sets, but they also deliver aid in Afghanistan, design high-end fashions, and build the human genome. They are of all ages, and their numbers are growing fast in an increasingly bleak economic landscape for young people. A huge and increasing number of internships are illegal under minimum wage law and this mass exploitation saves companies millions each year. Interns enjoy no workplace protections and no standing in courts of law--let alone luxuries such as a living wage.

Ross Perlin, a self-confessed intern survivor, has written the first exposé of the brave new world of unpaid work. In this witty, astonishing, and serious investigative work, Perlin takes the reader inside both boutique nonprofits and megacorporations such as Disney. He unmasks a grotesque internship industry where coveted, unpaid placements are auctioned off and universities are complicit in exploiting student labour. He profiles fellow interns, talks to historians about what unleashed this phenomenon, and explains why the intern boom is perverting workplace practices in locations all around the world.

Thought-provoking, insightful, and humorous, Intern Nation is an urgent call to overturn the latest racket in unpaid work.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gdemange - LibraryThing

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a student who is about to go away to college. It was a little late for me, but I gave it to my oldest grand-daughter upon graduating from college with ... Read full review

INTERN NATION: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

User Review  - Kirkus

An intrepid ex-intern finally states the obvious—that internships are illogical, unfair and potentially dangerous to an already precarious economic system.In the business and political worlds ... Read full review


Chapter TwoThe Explosion
Chapter ThreeLearning From Apprenticeships
Chapter FourA Lawsuit Waiting to Happen
Chapter FiveCheerleaders on Campus
Chapter SixNo Fee for Service
Chapter SevenThe Economics of Internships
Chapter EightFutures Market
Chapter NineWhat About Everybody Else?
Chapter TenThe Rise and Rebellion of the Global Intern
Chapter ElevenNothing to Lose But Your Cubicles
Intern Bill of Rights

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About the author (2011)

Ross Perlin is a graduate of Stanford, SOAS, and Cambridge, and has written for, the New York Times, Time magazine, Lapham's Quarterly, Guardian, Daily Mail, and Open Democracy. He is researching disappearing languages in China.

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