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Chapter 11

Chapter11- Work & Unemployment.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2140
Professor
Paul Whitehead
Semester
Winter

Description
11- Work and Unemployment November-02-12 12:17 PM 11.1 THE GLOBAL CONTEXT: THE ECONOMY IN THE 21ST CENTURY  Global economy: interconnected network of economic activity that transcends national borders  Jobs, products, services and national policies/ agendas all influenced by economic activity world- wide  Economic institution: structure and means by which a society produces, distributes and consumes goods and services  1999, 11/15 European Union Nations created the common "euro", initially brought power to weak currencies and later increased debt o When states rather than industries held accountable for financial collapse citizens pay the price o Deutschmann suggest nations most financially weak would not have been in such large-scale diff if they maintained their own currency o Micro-currencies used locally supported by the euro are good for trade may benefit Capitalism and Socialism  Principal economic systems in the world are capitalism and socialism  Capitalism: private individuals/groups invest capital to produce goods/services for a profit, in a competitive market o Characterised by economic motivation through profit, determining process through supply/demand, no governmental intervention in economy o Created alienated workers, poor working conditions, near-poverty wages, unemployment, polluted/depleted environment, world conflict over resources  "Pure Capitalism"- "hands off" exists only when market forces can operate without interference from gov't  "State Capitalism"- private citizens own the means of production and pursue profits, but do so within vast set of laws that protect the welfare of the population  Socialism: economic ideology emphasizes public rather than private ownership. Theoretically goods/services are equitably distributed according to needs of citizens  Capitalism emphasizes individual freedom, socialism emphasizes social equity, advocates for one argue its for economic well-being for society and members , in reality both fail to fulfill promises  Standard of living and economic inequality is higher in capitalist countries  Convergence hypothesis: capitalist and socialist countries will adopt elements of each other, converge o Economies of Germany, France and Sweden- "integrated economies" Corporate Multinationalism  Corporate Multinationalism: corporations having their home base in one country and branches/affiliates in other  Allows businesses to vapid imports tariffs, costs associated with transporting goods, access to raw materials, cheap labour, avoidance of gov't regulations/ labour laws  Provides jobs for managers, secures profits for investors and helps CAN compete in global economy has detrimental consequences- poverty, factories moving, ethnic tensions in competing for jobs  Concern for loss of national identity in the less developed countries, Canadian operations serve their own best interests not those of Canada and multinationals show no loyalty to CAN hen the demand of their product falls or a cheaper source is found elsewhere Industrialization, Post industrialization, and the Changing Nature of Work  Industrial Revolution: period b/w the mid18th century and early 19th when machines/factories became the primary means for producing goods - England o Altered nature of work machines replaced hand tools and steam/gasoline/electric power replaced human/animal o Led to development of mass-production assembly lines, increased labour o Factories led to large cities, instead of family centred agriculture work, people worked outside the home  Posindustrialization: shift from industrialized economy dominated by manufacturing jobs to economy dominated by service-orientated, information-intensive occupations o Characterized by highly educated workforce, automated/computerized production methods, increased gov't involved in economic issues, higher standard of living  Three fundamental work sectors based on types of goods services produced o Primary- involves production of raw materials/food goods, developing countries 60% work in agriculture CAN <3% o Secondary- production of manufactured goods from raw materials (EX: paper from wood) o Tertiary- professional, managerial, technical-support, service jobs  Transition to post-industrial society make by decrease manufacturing & increase in service, info- technology jobs  1991-2001 ~1/2 growth in CAN labour force occurred in highly skilled occupations, o top 10 disappearing jobs were; typist, typesetter, watch/clock repairer, statistical clerk, fisher, teller, telephone operator, tool/die maker, farmer, locomotive operator o Top 10 growth; in-home nurse, nurse practioner, physician, teacher, special edu, pharmacist, physiotherapist  CAN increasingly looked to immigration as a source of skills/knowledge, 2001, 25-65yr immigrants who arrived in 1990's represented 24% of workforce in highly skilled occupations  New immigrants worked highly in info-technology, engineering and natural sciences  Brain Drain: phenomenon whereby many individuals with the highest level of skill and education leave the country in search of work abroad The Age of Information Technology  Idea we live in an "information age" popular- new conditions of work, managing and relaying info  Inability to shut off the connect to work - blackberry's allow workplace anywhere worker goes  Technostress: stress arises specifically from having too many tasks to perform simultaneously, while keeping up with perpetually changing demands to operate new/emerging technologies with ease  IT bring new problems and benefits to postsecondary education - students feel education is "always open" ad professors feel pressured to spend large amounts of time interacting with students  Constant change in technologies result in 3 problems in workplace o Requires workers to alter skill set constantly o Skills workers learn tend to be in the area of specific applications rather than in problem solving and decision making, not transferable o Workers in higher positions tend to receive more training/ skill upgrading than those in lower ranks  Use of technologies in production can promote deskilling of jobs as labours are replaced with automated machines 11.2 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF WORK AND THE ECONOMY  Structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic internationalism serve as theoretical lenses through which we better understand work/economic issues Structural-Functionalism Perspective  Holds that economic institution is one of the most imp social institutions, providing necessities including food, clothing and shelter contributing to social stability  After basic survival needs met, surplus materials and wealth may be allocated to other social uses- maintaining military protection, supporting political/religious leaders, formal edu, supporting/expanding pop'n, entertainment and recreation  Although functional for society elements are dysfunctional- before industrialization low division of labour in few work roles available, limited work roles meant societies members shared similar roles thus developed similar norms and values  Industrial societies have many work roles, high division of labour cohesion is based not on similarity of people but interdependence- need skills and services others provide  Anomie: lack of common norms/values is which leads to a state of normlessness- linked to variety of social problems, crime addiction & violence Conflict Perspective  Marx- Capitalism is responsible for inequality/conflict between societies  Ruling class controls economic system for own benefit and exploits/oppresses the working masses  Capitalism benefits elite class controls not only the economy but aspects like- media, politics, law, edu, religion  Corporate power reflected in politics of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and world bank pressures developing countries to pen their economies to foreign corporations leads to debt o IMF uses debt leverage to force gov't around the world to give big corporations/billionaires everything they want so they will locate in their countries  North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) benefit corporations, provide grater access to foreign markers at expense of workers - allow corporations to do what they want  According to CP work health promotion policies, work family policies are not result of altruistic/humanitarian concern for workers well-being rather corporate leaders recognize they result in higher job productivity/lower health care costs- thus good for bottom line Symbolic Interactionist Perspective  Work role is a central part of a persons identity - identifying someone as a truck driver vs. doctor provides different social meaning  Title of a persons work gives meaning and self-worth to the ind, a job provides the most imp status for most ppl  Distribution of economic compensation may become primary measure of self-worth obtained through another's recognition of ones values  SI perspective - definitions and meanings influence behaviour, EX: child labour  Emphasizes that aptitudes/behaviours are influenced by interaction with others o Workplace- employers and managers concerned with using interaction techniques that achieve desired attitudes/behaviours from employees Feminist Perspective  Liberal feminists focus on policy initiatives ensuring equal pay for equal work, family-work balance and child-labour concerns  Illuminates constraints of gender-role divisions b/w the public/private worlds of paid employment and domestic work- distinction based on class presumptions about gender roles  Discrimination management: individual efforts to prevent being targeted for discriminatory behaviours in the workplace 11.3 PROBLEMS OF WORK AND UNEMPLOYMENT Child Labour: A Goal Problem  Child labour: children performing hazardous work that interferes with their education, or harms their health or physical, mental, spiritual or moral development  2006 B.C legislature ruled children could enter into paid labour at 12 while the rest of CAN remained at 14, even though laws are in place world-wide child labour still persists  ~250 mill children b/w 5-14yrs work for a living - factories, workshops, construction sites, mines, quarries, fields, fishing boats, home and on the street  Egypt +1mill 7-12yrs work on cotton mills and receive beatings when slowed  Children typically earn $1 day working from 7am-6pm with one midday break seven days a week, children young as 5/6 work in domestic service , difficult to labour b/c of hidden nature of practice  Sweatshops: work environments characterized by less-than-min wage pay, excessive long hours, unsafe conditions, abuse, lack of worker organizations aimed at negotiating better work conditions o Occur in garment production, manufacturing, mining, and agriculture o Dangerous conditions results in high rates of illness, injury and death o International Labour Org- 1.4 mill workers die on the job each year - min age convention is above 15  Bonded Labour: repayment of a debt through labour o Employer loans money to parents and give children to employers as labourers to repay debt, child is either taken far from home or works in their village o Children unable to work off debt b/c of high interest rates, low wages, wage deductions for meals/lodgings and mistakes at work o Slavery- not allowed to leave workplace , 10-20mill child in the world forced to work as BL o Most common- India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan Causes of Child Labour  Poverty, economic exploitation, social values, lack of access to education  Economic advantages to industries that profit from child labour perpetuate practice and traditional social values  Failure to provide edu to all children Child Prostitution and Trafficking  Widespread problem- 3000 in Montreal, 2930 in Athens and up to 300 000 in US  Occurs through world, particularly prevalent in Asia, Central/South America  Poor countries families often sell the sexual services of their children in attempt to get money, some kidnapped, lured by traffickers with promises of employment, end up in brothels Consequences of Child Labour  At risk for health problems- injuries, stunted growth, diseases  Carpet weavers- knarled fingers, curved spins Brick Layers- breathe in dust, scarring of lungs, early death Child Farmers- harmful pesticides  Fed inadequate diets and endure harsh punishments Heath and Safety Hazards in the Workplace  Accidents at work and hazardous conditions contribute to illness, injuries and death  Globally 1.4 mil workers die on the job or from occupational diseases each year  Health/safety hazards attributed to wilful disregard of info and guidelines concerning worker safety- asbestos  1999 Ontario Fed Labour launched campaign to push gov't stricter limits on exposure to toxic substances in workplaces, inspectors in place to ensure limits are adhered too o Top 10 dangerous materials: asbestos, benzene, cadmium, diesel exhaust emissions, fibreglass, formaldehyde, lead, metalworking fluids, nickel, cilica, styrene, vinyl chloride  3 most dangerous occupations in CAN- cutting/loading rock, general mine labouring, operating small engines Workplace Illness and Injuries  Rate of in
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