This seminar is designed to investigate and analyze rhetoric of contradictions in work-life. In particular it focuses on the paradoxes of the American work life in public discourse, individual narratives, and social science research. Readings and discussions focus on a number of stock issues facing contemporary workers including, but not limited to: race, gender, class, equal opportunity, family and medical leave, work-life balance, and changing structures in work life (ex: surveillance and privacy). Students are required to reflect critically upon taken-for-granted assumptions about workers, the workplace, the nature of organizations, and the place of organizations in society. Students read primary texts, allowing them to learn how to critically analyze message design and construction, including attention to issues of argument strategy, message structure, style and language, and the process of locating a message in its historically specific context.