The labor of speech: sound and productive affect in the YMCA's speech pedagogy for immigrant industrial workers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This essay recovers the communication pedagogy that the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) developed as part of their outreach to immigrant men in the industries in the early-20th-century U.S.A. It brings into focus how the YMCA's teaching techniques negotiated the relation between labor and labor power by configuring sound, speech, and class subjectivity in a way that put in motion a form of productive affect. From this material history, the essay prompts reflection on the ways that sound continues to configure ever-shifting modes of productivity and exploitation, inviting scholars to critically consider the role of communication pedagogy in the evolving contexts of capitalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Communication
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Communication Association.

Keywords

  • Americanization
  • capitalism
  • class
  • ethnicity
  • speech pedagogy

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