SOCC58H3 Lecture Notes - Harry Braverman, Precariat, Deskilling

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Published on 14 Nov 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCC58H3
Professor
SOCC33 - Outline
6 April Globalization or varieties of capitalism? Challenges and prospects
Readings: Swedberg, R. 2003. “Economic Organization.” In Principles of Economic
Sociology, pp. 53-73. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Glyn, A. 2006. “Labour’s Retreats”. In Capitalism Unleashed: Finance,
Globalization, and Welfare, pp.104-128. Oxford and New York: Oxford
University Press.
I. Globalization and capitalism (Swedberg article)
Sweberg deals with the structure of a contemporary form of economic organization, namely
capitalism
Capitalism: an organization of economic interests that allows for the “the pursuit of profit, and
forever renewed profit”
- all economies involve production, distribution, and consumption
- the key to the different ways of organizing the economy is distribution
- distribution can take one of three forms:
i.- redistribution
ii.- reciprocity
iii.- exchange
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Capitalism compared with other distributive systems
Swedberg, p. 58.
Different types of capitalisms (Weber)
Swedberg, p. 61
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II. Labour under global capitalism
Glyn - “Labour’s Retreats”
- why have the less skilled been falling behind in terms of jobs, especially in Europe?
- three important influences:
i.- technical progress favoring the employment of skilled workers
ii.- the displacement of low skilled manufacturing by imports from the low-wage South
and
iii.- the less qualified being ‘bumped down’ off the jobs ladder as weak demand for
labour overall allowed employers to be more choosy and recruit better qualified
workers for what had previously been jobs open to the least qualified (over-educated
workers)
III. Degradation of work and deskilling
Harry Braverman “Labour and Monopoly Capitalism”:
20th-century capitalism as different from the mode of production examined by Marx:
- a relatively small number of huge, powerful corporations now controlled the national
and international economies
- the role of the state in the production process had expanded
- new technologies had evolved, workplace bureaucracies had become larger, and the
labour process itself had become increasingly standardized
- Taylorist tendencies at the heart of all modern management approaches
Example
critique of ‘knowledge work’
- no longer a guarantee of success
- a global mass market in unskilled labour is being replaced by a market in middle-class work
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Document Summary

University press: globalization and capitalism (swedberg article) Sweberg deals with the structure of a contemporary form of economic organization, namely capitalism. Capitalism: an organization of economic interests that allows for the the pursuit of profit, and forever renewed profit . All economies involve production, distribution, and consumption. The key to the different ways of organizing the economy is distribution. Distribution can take one of three forms: i. - redistribution ii. - reciprocity iii. - exchange. 20th-century capitalism as different from the mode of production examined by marx: A relatively small number of huge, powerful corporations now controlled the national and international economies. The role of the state in the production process had expanded. New technologies had evolved, workplace bureaucracies had become larger, and the labour process itself had become increasingly standardized. Taylorist tendencies at the heart of all modern management approaches. A global mass market in unskilled labour is being replaced by a market in middle-class work.

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