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SOC227H5 (35)

Harry Braverman- Degradation of Work in 20th Century.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Gregory Bird

The Degradation of Work in the 20 Century Harry Braverman Scientific Management  Scientific movement initiated by Frederick Taylor  Taylorism belongs to chain of development of management methods and organization of labour, not to develop of technology (played a minor role)  Scientific management is an attempt to apply methods of science to complex problems of control of labour in growing capitalist markets o Lacks characteristics of true science because its assumptions reflect on the outlook of the capitalist with regard to conditions of production o Starts from management (capitalist) point of view of a rebellious workforce in setting of aggressive social relations o **It enters the workplace not as the representative of science, but as the representative of management masquerading in the trappings of science (pg.33)  Taylor dealt with fundamentals of organization of labour process and of control over it o Control has been the essential feature of management but with Taylor, it assumed unprecedented dimensions o Stages of management control over labour before Taylor included gathering together of workers in a workshop and also dictation of working day o Taylor’s idea of control- an absolute necessity for adequate management the dictation to the worker of the precise manner in which work is to be performed; management had right to control labour before Taylor  A fair day’s work according to Taylor- all the work a worker can do without injury to his health, at a pace that can be kept up throughout the day  Maximum/optimum that can be obtained for a day’s labour power; biggest obstacle in achieving this is slow pace at which workers adopt o Natural instinct and tendency of men to “take it easy” (natural soldiering) o Intricate thought and reasoning caused by their relations with other men (systematic soldiering); what they think will promote their best interests  Regardless of productivity, pay of labour is a socially determined figure which is similar for similar types of jobs  Not rewarded in terms of pay for increased productivity so might as well work at a normal pace (at their best interests)  **workers who are controlled only by general orders and discipline are not adequately controlled, because they retain their girp on the act
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