The Class System Inside Google

As we’ve discussed in class, Google and other successful tech companies project an image as next generation workplaces that offer the promise of overcoming the alienation of labor.  Andrew Norman Wilson, a conceptual artist who once worked for Google, has undertaken research into the transition from industrial to informational labor and what this means in terms of race and class.  What he discovered inside Google was an intricate class system that separates workers into tiers with vastly different privileges. White badges are full-timers and green badges are interns. Google also employs thousands of contract workers, who wear red badges.  Sequestered in a building separate from the main Google hive is another class of contract workers who are assigned yellow badges and do not enjoy the benefits granted to the white- and red-badged employees. Working for Google Book Search, these workers spend their days scanning books, page by page. Read more about Google’s Secret Class System here.  Also check out: Art from Outside the Googleplex: An Interview with Andrew Norman Wilson.  Wilson’s video, “Workers Leaving the Googleplex,” is below”


One response to “The Class System Inside Google

  1. This sad to know how Google alienates there own workers based on their position of badges. However, it is interesting to know that many of the employees did not know about the yellow badge employees since the yellow badge employees were not able to enter any other Google building expect their own. The yellow badge employees were excluded from the Google luxuries such as Google bikes, free meal, shuttle buses and social interaction with any other Google employees. Andrew Wilson also states the yellow badge people were mostly color of race. This video has left me speechless.

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