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Sociology 2169 Chapter Notes -Social Inequality, Ritualism In The Church Of England, Absenteeism

4 pages73 viewsFall 2012

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Sociology 2169

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Chapter Four- Work, Alienation, Well-Being, and Health
Alienation explains how work under capitalism is structured to make workers powerless with
respect to content, conditions, production, and processes of their work
Control is put into hands of owners
Work loses its ability to be self-actualizing, or to fulfill higher human needs
Four sources of alienation:
o Workers are alienated from what they produce
Work is a means to an end does provide any fulfillment
o Workers do not have control over the process of production
Decisions are all made by owners and their agents
Further prevents them from fulfilling themselves
o Workers alienated from themselves or from engaging in creative activity
Separate themselves from humanity
Marx humans define themselves through labour
o Workers alienated from others
Divided through exploitation and social inequality
Alienation produced from structure and organization of work under capitalism
Negative impacts: limiting workers potential, harm workers physically and mentally
Blauner’s study – Alienation and Freedom workers’ alienation increased as technology shifted
from craftwork to machine tending and assembly-line work
Exerting more skill and autonomy on the job, workers feel less alienated than others
Eicher and Thompson alienation is linked to occupational self-direction those will little
occupational self-direction are much less likely to feel alienated
Alienation linked with class:
o Blue-collar, and lower-level service jobs more alienated
o Middle-class workers in jobs that require more education are granted more autonomy
People enjoy work that has intrinsic awards people do desire work that is creatively fulfilling
Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction summary measure of “workers’ attitude of overall acceptance, contentment
and enjoyment of their jobs”
o Intrinsic awards decision-making opportunities, challenging nonrepetitive work, and
autonomy that allows for self-direction and responsibility over tasks (INNER
o Extrinsic awards good wages, benefits, employment security, and opportunities for
Satisfied workers are not always happy and fulfilled workers
Issues with measuring how satisfied we are with our jobs:
o We have complex feelings about our job we love what we do, but hate our boss etc..
o Represents an attitude or feelings that may be only loosely connected to how we
behave at work
What Makes Workers Satisfied?
Characteristics that are important for contributing to job satisfaction:
o Extent to which work is autonomous, challenging, and interesting
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