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Lecture 7

SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Wok, Industrial Revolution, Deskilling


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Lecture
7

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SOCA02- Lecture 7- Sociology of Work
Economy
Social institution that organizes the production, distribution and exchange of goods and
services
o3 sectors
Primary raw natural resources i.e. farming, logging, mining
Secondary manufactured goods
Tertiary service-based
Agricultural revolution
oUse of tools to herd cattle and grow plants as well as the domestication of
animals to aid endeavors
Industrial revolution
oMade manufacturing the dominant economic sector. Based on the production of
finished goods and trade in markets
oSocial relations that regulate the exchange of goods and services. In a market,
the prices of goods and services are established by how plentiful they are
(supply) and how much they are wanted (demand)
Postindustrial revolution
oAutomation of the workplace has displaced many individuals from manufacturing
while service industry has become more prevalent
Division of Labour
“In pre-agrarian societies there were four main jobs”
“As a U of T student, you can tailor your university experience by choosing from
among over 700 different undergraduate programs and more than 400 different graduate
and professional programs.” University of Toronto
“The division of labor refers to the specialization of work tasks. The more specialized
the wok tasks in a society, the greater the division of labor” (p. 333)
Bad jobs are often defined as having low wages, leaving workers with minimal sense of
dignity, being dangerous, being physically uncomfortable, having few prospects of
promotion, etc.
Good jobs are often defined as having high degrees of autonomy, providing good wages
and comfortable work environments, receiving a sense of fulfilment, being secure, etc.
Deskilling
Employers can replace workers with machinery
Employers can replace skilled workers with less expensive unskilled workers given the
simplification of work
Employers can control workers more directly
oCreate as much profit as possible lessen cost of labour
Work is tailored to specific tasks
Increase control over employees
Critique
Focus on the bottom of the occupational hierarchy
Cost necessary to enter into these “skilled” jobs often lead many into debt well before
their peak wage-earning years
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