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Labour Studies
David Goutor

Theoretical Questions About Work & Labour Instrumental Work Orientation: - The job is seen as an instrument, where the worker mostly cares about the money - These people don’t necessarily invest in the job, and it is usually not a long term job - Examples of this can be summer jobs, part time work, and manufacturing jobs Proletarian: - Workers that identify with other workers - “us vs them” type of thinking, not upward workers - Happy with being an independent worker - Large separation between workers, bosses and managers - Example of this is mining Upward: - You see this job as being the path leading to better things - There is respect for the job and a desire to do well - Usually don’t support protests - Doesn’t identify with a job in the long term - Example of this is office work Deferential: - They respect their bosses, and everybody else and do what they’re told - Identify with their employer - Want to get along with those they work with and their employers - Tend to be happy with the job that they have - Example of this can be working for a small business Manifest Function: - The function of the work is the composition, - It allows you to make a living - You need to get paid, need to feed your kids, need to pay the rent Latent Function: - things that speak to your well-being and fulfillment; much more diverse than manifest - What you find rewarding will depend on each individual, feeling valued, productive, accomplishing something - gives you a reason to get out of bed - A) strong belief/confidence that you have something to offer more than marks in school - B) social; fitting into a workplace, you work with other people/you’re a team, same frustrations/problems with the job - When people lose their job both manifest and latent functions are mentioned/more than money. Intrinsic: - Things that come with the nature of doing the job - Something you find satisfying with the job - Challenging work, Independence, creativity, variation (not doing the same thing all day), sense of accomplishment, feeling that you’re making a difference Extrinsic: - Pay, benefits, promotion – getting ahead - Men tend to focus on extrinsic, women tend to focus on intrinsic - Sometimes one big reward outweighs an issue, like low pay, but working in a good social environment Emile Durkheim: - Writing in the 1920s - Disagrees that Immersion of workers would cause a lot of unrest and conflict with religion and class - Work organization creates cohesion, cooperation - Fundamentally shared interests Max Weber: - Cultural attitudes towards work, not only economic factors - Protestants: said work is not just punishment - Catholics: work did not determine your salvation - Capitalism came from a cultural set of values, this is why it emerged - Attitudes towards work speak to bigger issues dealing with religion and your soul Alienation: - The separation of workers and the products they produce and the control over what you make and their freedom on how to make it - Marx believed that it was dehumanizing - Lose connection with outlet for creativity - The fatal flaw of capitalism Materialism: - Marx believed that humans understand themselves by how they react to the material world - He said that what really made humans stand was how they could create different societies in order to produce everything around them and create societies - You see yourself in the things that you do, you make your mark - Isn’t just how you see yourself but also how you organize societies Unions Collective Agreement & Collective Bargaining: - Workers coming together in a union and coming to an agreement with the employers to have more say against an employer rather than one person against the boss - Have a negotiated contract with the employer - Limitations include not being able to go against the contract, cannot go on strike, stuck with what is defined in the contract, and cannot bargain on particular things Bargaining Unit: - All workers are a part of this but not all are part of a union - Have to pay dues even if you’re not part of the union - The Rand Formula states that you shouldn’t have to join a union to get a job because it takes away individual freedom - But must pay dues anyways because of free riders Union Wage Premium: - More vulnerable workers, like women and temporary workers that tend to benefit more with unions - It is between unionized workers and non-unionized workers until unions grow stronger Free Riders: - People that aren’t a part of the union and do not pay for it but benefit from it anyways Certification: - Labour Board comes in and recognizes the union for the employer - If the majority of the workers want a union, it’ll be certified and the employer has no control over it - When certification happens, a union is formed and a bargaining unit is created Recognition: - The process for the employer to recognize the union as the bargaining unit and the basic conditions of work will be bargained collectively - This doesn’t mean that each employer doesn’t have an individual contract with the employer The Golden Age Great Middle Class: - Large parts of the population were part of the middle class and were comfortable identifying themselves as such - Society saw itself as a middle class society - People worried less about what the rich thought of them - North America had an economic advantage, industrialized - Canada and USA had advantage over developing worlds and there was not as much competition Keynesianism: - “Mass Production Requires Mass Consumption” - Keynes said that there was not enough demand and the economy chokes on its own production and the average person cannot consume at the average rate of production; partially how we got the Great Depression - Mass consumption means there is enough money in the pockets of the average worker - Need consumer confidence - The workers need to believe that they are secure and will have money in the long run The Bland Society: - The focus on consumer goods and security was making things dull for many people Military Industrial Complex: - Large connection between government spending on military and technological innovation - A lot of the innovations of this time are driven by the needs of the military Injunctions: - Court orders that were used against union activity - Supposed to be temporary and in the context of a larger trial; designated to hold everything in place as a trial is carried out - Used by employers to stop unions from striking and is very effective - The courts were willing to ignore the rules for a while Neoliberalism Trickle Down Economics: - Let the people innovate, of course they will get rich but the benefits will trickle down to everyone - Essential part of how the system works - The only long term way to create wealth The Rust Belt: - An area that is rusting up - Time when around lake Ontario was known as golden horseshoe, in 1950’s/60’s - 1980’s manufacturing starts to fail, this affects mentality as is cannot be turned around - In Windsor in 1990’s they were able to resist this and keep high standards of living T.I.N.A: - “There is no alternative” - Workers say if we demand more our employers will move - The company will open up somewhere else for cheaper - Deep sense that work could go anywhere so there is no alternative, we have to do what the business wants Hanging On Generation: - Series of layoffs and restructuring changes basic demographic of workers - Core of workers who had seniority, younger people are not being hire, they are being laied off, and core of the workforce is just hanging onto their jobs - This deepens the image of the workforce as older, from an earlier time, a generation that had it easier and is now trying to stay protected Globalization Global South: - Good Work in Global South: Cheap Labour, highly disciplined and productive in the Global South for foreign investors. Hours are good, they work about 86-90 hours a week - Bad Work In Global South: Sweatshops and resources like mining and shipbreaking Sweatshops: - Lucky to have machinery - Some lighting and very crowded - Child labour is very common because they have advantages as a workers, such as: small fingers, more energy - Health and safety conditions are not good - An example of this is the factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 Slums/Planet of the Slums: - 1 billion people live in slums - A lot of forces that create globalization are what also push people into the slums - People are in slums because they are being pushed off the land as these cities emerge and this changes the way the property system works - Example: In Mexico city, they have the same population as Canada and everything is made by the people that live there (shacks, road organization), no basic services, running water, sewage, electricity, transportation. The insecurity is great as these people have nowhere to go during harsh weather, and the government does not pay attention and service this population Mobility Within South: - In Northern Mexico after NAFTA, there was a wave of de-industrialization (employers found better conditions in other countries), the competition then grows within the global south - Industry moving from the Global North to the Global south - Companies are moving around and increasing competition Chittagong, Bangladesh: - Beached ships that are no longer useful - They drive them up on the beach at low tide and thousands of workers come out and break down the ship - They take everything from the ship that is valuable - This is incredibly toxic work for ships that carry oil; danger to workers Race, Class, and Gender Whiteness: - White people are seen as natural and “the neutral colour” - This is the category that is often interrogated the least - The US citizenship would only allow citizenship to “free white men”, but this caused controversy over who was considered to be white - The definition of who is and who isn’t considered to be white has changed over time Credentials: - The subjects that women typically study aren’t the most employable, but this statement neglects to look at why women tend to study these things - Immigrants don’t have all of their credentials recognized - Credenti
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