features of Vita Needle
- employs old people
- located in Needham Massachusets
what does work provide for employees
- feeling of contribution to society and family
- social interaction
- break from domestication
- keep physically active
- pass time
- financial assistance
- Diversity and complexity of motivation to work in retirement years
what is the cultural construction of aging at Vita Needle mean
- cultural assumptions and expectations are already made for old people
- they arent suppossed to work, but they do at Vita Needle
what is efficiency game?
- author worked with needles running it through air and water, told her best way to be efficient
- workers try to be efficient for self achievement for self and company
where does sense of value come from for employees?
- affirmation of feeling useful and being told they are doing a good job
- they are helpful for Fred and their employees by helping out
how is sense of bonding built?
- the all feel like they are suffering together
- the share same feelings in lack of AC, health issues, familial issues etc.
what does it mean by codependency at Vita Needle?
- idea of doing well for not only yourself, but others too.
- once their work is done, the employees float around to see who else needs help
How is productivity kept?
they hold each other accountable by confronting each other about their productivity
significance of Christmas Bonus
- everyone knows that they are getting something for their contributions
- company provides elderly with people and purpose - they can work with people and they can make a social impact
what distinctions are made by Grant and Jerry about adult care center vs. working at Vita needle
working provides dignity, and service for society compared to adult care center
what is fordism
- System of mass production and mass consumption
- Employers and employees not really fighting against each other - They have relatively good relationship with their employer
- employees believe what they are doing is good for the company, the company is good for society, and its basically a circle of productivity fordism era provided foundation for work ethic and concept of oneness
mike production manager looking for employees
- weed out status conscious people
- people who are interested in paycheck
- looks for people who look for
concept of freedom, flexibility, and choice
- free to do what they want
- flexibility to take the time they need
- choice to quit when they want
difference between harmful vs. mutually advantageous exploitation
company and workers agree that their work is mutually advantageous to them and the company
Why is media coverage making vita needle so popular? What us close distance?
not a lot of people have heard of a factory hiring old factory workers - so its unusual, but familiar to old people.
what is the issue of exploitation?
- company not providing medical benefits
- workers still think its ok
- christmas bonus is incentive for them to work better, and get a tax break for the company
what is side effect of raising retirement age?
less opportunities for younger people
People took media coverage of vita needle positively, but that’s at the time economy was going well.
What is Audience perception during economic recession?
- Old People should have given up their jobs during economic recession because younger people need to feed their families
- Maybe Vita may be doing well, but criticism increases as economic condition decreases.
how is media coverage affecting vita workers
- changed the way they were telling their stories and how they viewed each other
- affects their agency
- makes them realize how they interpret their vita world
- daily interactions at work change
- elevated status and the role of vita needle becuase of their constant media attention - they now realize their importance for others
how does media make workers assess the value of their life
- they feel worth it
- feel useful
- they want to make social impact to other old people
how do workers control privacy and storytelling
- refusal of some information to public ex. age
- try to be on TV on purpose
how do people contrast the film with reality
film is showing the ideal of being privileged to work as an elderly, but reality is not that beautiful because they all have underlying complaints and issues with the employer or coworkers
vita needle vs. manufacturers employing cheap female labor in global south
- Laborers are dependent on job for survival, Vita workers are not to an extent
- Vita workers are elderly and don’t need to be there
- Vita needle has flexible working and safer environments compared to field workers
- is employing elderly ethically right is always questioned
- Its a Trade off - tolerate exploitative work conditions for values, priorities, and location