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Textbook notes for all of SOCA02

by OneClass7480 , Winter 2011
8 Pages
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Winter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Chapter 13 Work and the Economy
The Promise in the History of Work
Salvation or Curse?
-the computerization of the office began about 20 years ago
-when office workers were asked to draw pictures capturing their job experience before-and-
after computerization the pictures were very similarsmiles change to frowns
-Bill Gates argues that computers reduce our work hours, make goods and services cheaper by
removing many distribution costs of capitalism and allow us to enjoy at our leisure time more
Three Revolutions
-economy: the institution that organizes the production, distribution, and exchange of goods
and services
-the primary sector includes farming, fishing, logging, and mining a.k.a. agricultural
-the secondary sector involves turning raw materials into finished goods–Manufacturing
-the tertiary sector is where services are bought and sold–service
The Development of Agriculture
-10,000 years ago people lived in nomadic tribes
-people began to herd cattle and grow plants and stable human settlements spread
-farmers invented the plow and productivity ( the amount of goods and services produced for
every hour worked) sword
-extracting of Staples [timber, mining, fishing] propelled early economic development in Canada
The Development of Modern Industry
-international exploration, trade, and commerce stimulated the growth of markets from the 15th
century on
-markets are social relations or regulate the exchange of goods and services. Any market, the
prices of goods and services are established by supply and demand
-manufacturing became the dominant economic sector
--although Canada began at the Staples economy, a stronger manufacturing sector gradually
developed
The Development of the Service Sector
-as productivity increased service sector jobs proliferated
-the rapid change in the composition of the labor force during the final decades of the 20th
century was made possible in large part by the computer
-it created jobs in the service sector as quickly as it eliminated them in manufacturing
The Social Organization of Work
-the agricultural and postindustrial revolutions altered the way work was socially organized
-the division of labor ( and specialization of work tasks) increased
-in some cases increasing the division of labor involves creating new skills and in other cases,
the increasing over the WaveBurner involves breaking a complex range of skills into a series of
simple routines
-the division of labor increased social relations among workers also changed–work relations
became more hierarchical
www.notesolution.com
-clearly defined positions and written goals, rules, and procedures governing the organization of
work
Good Versus Bad Jobs
-bad jobs dont pay much, require the performance of a routine task, working conditions are
unpleasant, require little formal education, can be easily fired, few benefits, prospects for
promotion are few
The Deskilling Thesis
-Harry braverman argued that owners organize work to maximize profit, one way is to break
complex tasks into simple routines
-first machinery can be used to replace workers; second, less skilled and cheaper labor can be
used; third, employees can be controlled more directly
-deskilling: refers to the process by which work tasks are broken into simple routines
be acquiring little training to perform. It is usually accompanied by the use of machinery to
replace labor were ever possible and increased management control over workers
-deskilling can be best understood as a separation between conception and execution in a job
-Henry Ford introduced the assembly line–Fordism ( a method of industrial management based
on assembly line method of producing cheap, uniform commodities and high-volume) is now
often used to refer to mass production, assembly line work
-Frederick W. Taylor developed the principles of scientific management: a system of improving
productivity
-he trained workers to eliminate unnecessary actions and greatly improve their efficiency
-the most serious criticism against Harry was that he was not so much wrong as irrelevantthe
factory workers represent only a small portion of the labor force
-the manufacturing sector is shrinking and the service sector is expanding
-Shoshanas analysis of office workers made it appear that Harry’s insights apply beyond the
factory walls
-he argues that computerization of the office involves increased supervision of deskilled
work
Part-Time Work
-the expansion of part-time work is not a serious problem in itselffirst, some part-time jobs are
good jobs and second, some people want to work part-time and can afford to do so
-part-time work affords flexibility
-an increasingly large number of people depend on part-time work for the necessities of full-time
living
-the fact is that most part-time jobs or bad jobs
-the fastest-growing category of part-time workers comprise involuntary part-timers
-one of its most difficult aspects involves maintaining your self-respect in the face of co-pay,
benefits, security etc.
-temps and office are more likely to be the victim of sexual harassment because they lack power
and office
A Critique of the Deskilling Thesis
www.notesolution.com
-the deskilling thesis captures a trend for the simplification of previously complex jobs however
these analyses are too narrowly focused and therefore do not provide evidence of what is
occurring across the entire occupational structure
-taking a broader perspective we see that not all jobs are being deskilled and we see that
deskilling may be occurring primarily in jobs that are characteristic of the old economy but not
the new one
-jobs requiring more training and education might be thought of as requiring more skill, but many
occupational groups work to inflate the credentials needed for job entry so that the prestige and
remuneration of the occupation rises
-one reason social commentators have assumed that this deskilling is overturning is because of
the rise of the service sector
-the decline of the manufacturing sector and the rise of the service sector do not imply a
downward slide in the skills of the entire labor force
-based on evidence from a national survey the net result of the shift to services has been to
increase the requirements for people to think on the job
-jobs in the service sector require higher levels of skill than two jobs in the goods producing
sector and this undermines the idea of the deskilling in the overall workforce
-least skilled service workers are not as much of a dead end as they are frequently made out to
be
-braverman and Shoshana underestimated the continuing importance of skilled labor
-computers may have polarizing effects that magnify pay differences amongst the levelsthose
in higher skilled occupations earned higher wages if they use computers at work but computer
does not affect wages and low skill jobs where computer use requires little new skill or training
-computer use at work increases earnings among the better educated but has no impact on
earnings among the less educated
-the findings on computers suggests that the introduction of computers tends to enlarge the
number and quality of good jobs but it does not improve bad jobs and reduces the number of
bad jobs that are available
-information technology appears to be increasing inequalities among work at different skill levels
The Social Relations of Work
-the rise of a more knowledge intensive economy has had a big impact on the social relations of
work–workers are closely supervised and there is an increasing division of labor
-it is important to attend to the entire process of producing goods and servicesthis process
requires more skill because of the complexity of goods and services we now produce
-as Clement and Miles argue, the skill content of the entire labor process has risen, though
much of that skill content now resides in managerial and administrative spheres
-the managerial Revolution involves more of the job of conception being shifted to the
managerial and administrative round
-the rise of the managerial class who more often have real decision-making powerthe net result
is the rise of a new middle class with greater power to make decisions
Labor Market Segmentation
-David Gordon identifies tree stages of labor market development
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 13 Work and the Economy The Promise in the History of Work Salvation or Curse? -the computerization of the office began about 20 years ago -when office workers were asked to draw pictures capturing their job experience before-and- after computerization the pictures were very similarsmiles change to frowns -Bill Gates argues that computers reduce our work hours, make goods and services cheaper by removing many distribution costs of capitalism and allow us to enjoy at our leisure time more Three Revolutions -economy: the institution that organizes the production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services -the primary sector includes farming, fishing, logging, and mining a.k.a. agricultural -the secondary sector involves turning raw materials into finished goodsManufacturing -the tertiary sector is where services are bought and soldservice The Development of Agriculture -10,000 years ago people lived in nomadic tribes -people began to herd cattle and grow plants and stable human settlements spread -farmers invented the plow and productivity ( the amount of goods and services produced for every hour worked) sword -extracting of Staples [timber, mining, fishing] propelled early economic development in Canada The Development of Modern Industry -international exploration, trade, and commerce stimulated the growth of markets from the 15th century on -markets are social relations or regulate the exchange of goods and services. Any market, the prices of goods and services are established by supply and demand - manufacturing became the dominant economic sector - -although Canada began at the Staples economy, a stronger manufacturing sector gradually developed The Development of the Service Sector -as productivity increased service sector jobs proliferated -the rapid change in the composition of the labor force during the final decades of the 20th century was made possible in large part by the computer -it created jobs in the service sector as quickly as it eliminated them in manufacturing The Social Organization of Work -the agricultural and postindustrial revolutions altered the way work was socially organized -the division of labor ( and specialization of work tasks) increased -in some cases increasing the division of labor involves creating new skills and in other cases, the increasing over the WaveBurner involves breaking a complex range of skills into a series of simple routines -the division of labor increased social relations among workers also changedwork relations became more hierarchical www.notesolution.com
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