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Contruction Worker Contracts

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					     Chapter 12
Work and the Economy
 Consider the Artist in the Gray
       Flannel Pajamas
What has changed in the American worker
since the 1950s? (According to New York
Times writer Michael Lewis)
  The dominant image of the “Organization Man”
  has shifted-now is inclusive of women.
  Values and Attitudes-Today’s worker will not
  sell out their identity to the corporation; rather,
  the American worker is moving toward acting
  as a free agent in the industry.
Other changes in the American
  Worker According to Lewis
Values and attitudes that are revered
include individualism and freedom—
free-thinking and innovation.
The values of traditional professions
have been eroded by the business
model.
Other Changes to the American
  Worker According to Lewis
A new corporate language
emphasizes the quest for originality,
which helps to create a corporate
culture between groups.
Non-conformity seems to have
become the norm. New individualism
is fostered in the workplace (e.g.,
working from home).
       Division of Labor

Division of Labor: The specialization
of tasks required to produce goods.
  Changes in the division of labor have
  occurred at the micro- and macrolevels
  (between males and females and also
  through globalization).
Structural and Cultural Dimension
    of Work and the Economy
Structural Dimension: Is concerned with
the way work and the economy are
organized.
Cultural Dimension: Is concerned with
values, norms, attitudes, thought, and
expression.
Economy: The social institution primarily
concerned with production, distribution,
and consumption of goods and services.
Figure 12.2 Part-Time Versus Full-Time
  Employment Differences by Gender
Figure 12.3 Distribution of Workers by Weekly
                  Hour Bands
   Structure of the Economy:
      Economic Systems
Capitalism: A type of modern
economic system in which people and
organizations invest capital in the
production of goods and services to
make a profit. Capitalism requires a
free market in which producers can
compete with one another and freely
enter into contracts to buy or sell.
Economic Systems (cont’d)

Socialism: A type of modern
economic system in which the capital
invested and the profits from
production and supply of goods and
services are vested in the state.
These state-run economies are
sometimes referred to as communist.
 Economic Systems (cont’d)

Mixed Economic System: A type of
modern economic system in which
elements of socialism are introduced
into an otherwise capitalist society
Economic Systems (cont’d)

Industrial Economy: An economy
characterized by the employment of
large numbers of workers in the mass
production of manufactured goods.
The industrial economy reached its
peak during the twentieth century.
 Economic Systems (cont’d)

Service Economy: An economy
devoted to supplying services, such
as information processing, teaching,
nursing, advertising, marketing, or
food.
    Organization of Work

Karl Marx emphasized that capitalist
organization generated conflict, but
that it was the most dynamic
economic force for bringing about
modernization the world had seen.
The incessant efforts to improve
efficiency naturally brought about
needs for new technologies and
organization solutions.
Organization of Work (cont’d)

Max Weber emphasized that the
most rational form of organization was
the modern bureacracy, which is a
large hierarchical organization
governed by formal rules and having
a clear specification of work tasks that
are carried out by suitably qualified
officials.
            Professionals
Professionals are characterized by:
  (1) control of a large body of abstract, formal
  knowledge
  (2) substantial autonomy from supervision
  (3) authority over clients as well as subordinate
  occupational groups
  (4) the claim that they will use their knowledge
  for the benefit of their clients, putting their
  clients’ interests above their own when
  necessary.
         Craft Workers

Craft Workers are employees who
combine an intense pride in their work
with a broad knowledge of tools,
materials, and processed as well as
manual skills by long training and
experience.
Figure 12.4 Number Employed in Professional
          and Related Occupations
Figure 12.5 Professional and Related
     Occupations by Subgroup
Figure 12.6 The Decline of Self-Employment
          in the Twentieth Century
Frederick Taylor and Taylorism

 Taylorism: “Scientific Management,”
 which was developed by industrial
 engineer Frederick Taylor. Taylor
 believed that there was one best way
 to do every task and that through
 careful observation, one could find a
 more efficient means of
 accomplishing the specific task.
    Taylorism and Fordism
Taylor’s ideas were developed into the
principles associated with modern quality
control and scientific management. These
ideas played a role in the design of the
automatic assembly line developed by the
Ford Motor Company. This early modern
industrial system-of standardized
procedures, assembly-line production, and
tight managerial control-is the
quintessence of Fordism.
Meaning and Identity at Work

Meaning at work can be attained
through the construction of individual
and social identities that impart a
sense of pride and self-respect, even
though these feelings are not directly
related to production. A specific type
of meaning that can be grounded and
emphasized at work is often related to
gender roles.
          Outsourcing

Outsourcing: The process by which
corporations and businesses send
work to off-site contractor’s (often
outside the country) in order to avoid
paying high wages or providing
expensive benefits.
    Example of Outsourcing:
      Southern California
Many highly skilled and well-paid computer
workers in Silicon Valley were supported
by large numbers of low-paid service
workers, and racial economic inequality
was significant. As a result, outsourcing
occurred, whereby many lower-level
services, including janitorial services, were
outsourced to legal and illegal Mexican and
Central American immigrants. These
immigrants receive low pay, have no
benefits, and are worked overtime.
Figure 12.7 Distribution of Top Occupations
    Figure 12.8 Distribution of Top Five
Occupations of Foreign-Born Latino Workers
Deindustrialization, Gender Gap

 Deindustrialization: Systematic
 disinvestment in a nation’s
 manufacturing infrastructure.

 Gender Gap: Broadly speaking, the
 difference between men’s and
 women’s labor-force participation.
Figure 12.10 Labor Force Participation Rates
           for Females and Males
  Breakdown of Boundaries
Whereas modernization involved
increasing separation of the work situation
from personal and family life, the use of
computers and other electronic devices
has made possible an increase in work
outside the bureaucratic office or factory.
This reflects an erosion of the boundary
between workplace and home. Also,
through direct-selling techniques, workers
may blur the line of customer-seller
relations.
 Breakdown of Boundaries

Within the work of professionals as
well as craft-workers, managers are
increasingly seeking to establish and
maintain “human bonds” and personal
relations within the company. Under
the Ford model, these relationships
were strictly separated and excluded
from the workplace.
  Breakdown of Boundaries

Workers in the Fordist economic
system might have worked for a
single company their entire lives. In
today’s society, workers move fluidly
from firm to firm within their lifetime.
Study Questions
 What are the main differences
 between capitalist and socialist
 economic systems? What are the
 features of “mixed” economic
 systems?
 To what does the term division of
 labor refer? How did the Industrial
 Revolution transform the division of
 labor in society?
Study Questions (continued)
 Define Max Weber’s concept of
 bureaucracy. What aspects of the
 modern bureaucracy make it an
 efficient way to organize work? What
 aspects make it inefficient?
 What are the four defining
 characteristics of “professionals”? List
 some examples of professional
 occupations.
Study Questions (continued)

 Henry Braverman argued that
 capitalists organize the work process
 in whatever way will minimize labor
 costs, and thus maximize productivity.
 Is this a “structural” explanation of the
 labor process? Or is it a “cultural”
 explanation? Discuss the implications
 of both.
Study Questions (continued)

 Why are the concepts of meaning and
 identity important for understanding
 work? What role does gender play in
 the contruction of workers’ identities?
 Have technological changes led to a
 downgrading or an upgrading of
 worker skills? Explain why.
Study Questions (continued)

 Describe how outsourcing has
 changed the way work is organized
 for supermarket janitors in Southern
 California. In what way does
 outsourcing represent the transition
 from Fordist to post-Fordist
 production?
Study Questions (continued)

 This transition to post-Fordist
 production has been described as
 one of dedifferentiation, which
 involves the erosion of institutional
 boundaries. Give three examples of
 boundaries that have been blurred or
 undermined under the post-Fordist
 system.
Study Questions (continued)

 Ethnographic studies of workplace
 behavior distinguish between
 strategies of “resistance” and
 “cooperation.” Give three examples of
 workers’ resistance strategies as well
 as three examples of cooperation.

				
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