Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Contesting the widespread notion in the 1980s that place no longer mattered to highly digitized economic sectors turned out to be the first step towards conceptualizing the Global City function. It became an effort to detect a new, somewhat elusive formation deep inside major cities. Then came 8 years of endless data analyses and exciting fieldwork. My basic mode was discovery, not replication. What was the combination of elements that might produce this ironic outcome: the fact that the most powerful, rich, and digitized economic actors needed “central places,” and perhaps more than ever before? Large corporate firms engaged in routinized production could locate anywhere. But if they went global they needed access to a whole new mix of complex specialized services almost impossible to produce in-house as had been the practice. A second hypothesis that was stronger than I expected was that this new economic logic, partial as it was, would generate high-level jobs and low-wage jobs; it would need far fewer middle-range jobs than traditional corporations. But those low-level jobs, whether in the office or in households, would matter more than one might imagine. I described them as the work of maintaining a strategic infrastructure.
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