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Lecture 9

SSCI 1300 Lecture 9: Workplace

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Social Science
SSCI 1300U
Jessica Braimoh

The structure of work Industrial societies (late 18th century) Key changes: o Emergence of factories Lead to: increased division of labour o Other changes: urbanization, emergence of unions and the emergence of professions and association How work changed? o Taylorism as a management tool used to control the production process o Deskilling reduced the scope of a persons work o Alienation resulted as workers had limited control over their own labour and could not claim ownership over the products they helped produce. How tied to inequality? o The conditions organizing work push people into the workplace that previously were not there (i.e., child labour) Postindustrialism (late 20th century) o Key change: o Shift from manufacturingintensive economy to one based on services and information o Other changes: Borders no longer a barrier Consumerism Rise in the use of technology Growth in jobs AND unemployment DQ: why? Bureaucratization of work Bureaucratization of work (continued) o Source of efficiency Max Weber legal rational authority Bureaucracies seek to govern paid work through written rules Authority derives from ones position within a bureaucracy o How is efficiency ensured? Hierarchical reporting relationships Efficiency not always guaranteed: people become attached to positions in ways that are often very routinized (i.e., performed without much thought) o Source of inefficiency Peters principle: workers will rise to their level of incompetency Advancement based on performance in current role rather than ones abilities for the higher position Instead of skill, based on current performances Parkinsons law: work expands to fill the time available to the worker How do people find work? Social networks (social capital) o Who you know! Textbook: weak (replace with limited, absent or imbedded) Replace this work with: limited, absent, embedded The strength of weak ties (Granovetter, 1973) o Key finding: the people who you are least connected with (weak ties) provide you with the most opportunities
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