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Queen's University
COMM 317

SOCY 122: Readings Week 16 Tutorial Presentation The Employer-Labour Process-Employee Relationship (pp. 84-93)  4 major elements comprise the workplace o Fixed capital  Machinery  Technology  Tools  Software o Place of work o Materials o Live workers  “negotiation” or “bargaining” over the work process  Employee inputs o Specific resources of skill, knowledge, and physical ability o Motives, interests, goals, ambitions  Employer inputs o Capital and resources o Money o Security, status, record of employment  Giddens Theory of Structuration  “allocative resources” o Stem from and determine control over material products or other aspects of the material world  “authoritative resources” o Stem from and guide the various ways human agents co-ordinate their activities o Usually flow from control of specific allocative resources Production, Time-Work Discipline, and Technologies of Power (pp. 93-102)  “putting-out system” o Peasant families take raw materials from merchants and “put out” a product that merchants purchase and sell for profit in the market  Table system o People work in teams at different tables o One supervisor may supervise all tables o Each person performs specific task o Working opposite another team induces competition o Knowing that one is being watched ensures discipline  Table system allows six critical outcomes o 1) Task simplification necessitates analysis of the entire production process, creating insights for ways to improve technique and efficiency o 2) Unskilled workers can master and perform these simple tasks quickly o 3) As tasks simplify, economic benefits for the employer increase, as skilled adult male workers can be replaced by unskilled, less expensive female and child workers o 4) Through repeated execution of the same task a worker’s dexterity improves which speeds production o 5) Fragmentation facilitates the eventual mechanization of tasks that involve simple, repetitive movements o 6) Speeds the movement from cottage industry to workshop production, where numerous workers, under the same roof, work to “the beat of mechanically measurable time”  6 important points to note about Foucault’s discussion of docile bodies and disciplinary society o Table system and the “disciplinary system” are not written down, until “handbook for managers” by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911 o Docile bodies, disciplinary society, and the mechanisms of power can all have micro and macro integrated into them, Supervision, coercion and disciplining extends beyond the immediate, micro level and into the macro domain in two ways  Creation of docile bodies is not confined to the workplace  Disciplinary practices in each of these institutions ultimately constitute what Foucault terms “the disciplinary society” o Relational nature of the particular practices he is describing, power and capacities of the body are divided o Analysis of docile bodies and disciplinary society is an articulation of the principles of production and control, performance and self-discipline become central features of modern society o Docile bodies and self-discipline stem from constant coercion, supervising the process of the activity rather than its result o Docile body is also consistent with Bourdieu’s conception of habitus Frederick Winslow Taylor and Scientific Management (pp. 102-108)  1) Belief in the fundamental principles of Utilitarian philosophy o Each person meets his own needs to the best of his ability, “maximizing utility”  2) Belief that all people resist change and innovation until they are convinced that the changes will maximize their utility  3) Workers do not expend their energy more than necessary  Systematic soldiering o Time to study how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace  Natural soldiering o Natural tendency to take it easy Taylorism (pp. 641-642 Encyclopedia Entry) Harland Prechel  1880s  “greater national efficiency”  Systematic management of people  Braverman: separation of conception from execution in Tyalorism dehumanizes the worker because it limits the opportunities for individuals to use their creat
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