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The Transformation of Work in the New Economy

Sociological Readings

Robert Perrucci and Carolyn C. Perrucci

Publication Date - November 2006

ISBN: 9780195330816

624 pages
6-7/8 x 9-3/16 inches

In Stock

A critical examination of existing conditions in the workplace and a discussion of the political and economic forces that have shaped them.


In The Transformation of the New Economy, editors Robert Perrucci and Carolyn C. Perrucci critically examine existing conditions in the workplace and discuss the political and economic forces that have shaped them. The book explores established practices governing how products are produced, how work is organized, and who comprises the labor force.

Perrucci and Perrucci examine computerized production technology, global production chains, and the international division of labor as products of political struggles between corporations, workers, and the government. The outcomes of these struggles have produced our global economy, made jobs less secure, and kept wages of average Americans from growing the way they did post-World War II. These outcomes have also led to downsizing in the workplace, restructuring the social organization of work, and outsourcing jobs to other countries.

This anthology illustrates how the new economy has affected:
* Job opportunities and income for workers of different gender, race, and class.
* Working conditions of professionals, factory workers, and workers in the service economy.
* Family life of parents, children, and dual earners.

The closing section of the book focuses on policy changes that could improve the conditions of workers in the new economy--with specific attention to raising wages, better access to health care, and company policies that empower workers.


"This is a truly rich and exciting edited volume, and one that will certainly add lively discussion to classes pertaining to the workplace, social change, and social stratification. Robert and Carolyn Perrucci's careful selection of readings address the most pressing of contemporary workplace concerns. These include globalization and its costs; technological and organizational developments and their implications for workplace control; persistent inequalities and the workplace experiences of pink-, blue-, and white-collar workers; work-family tensions and their contemporary manifestations; and the potential for labor revitalization in the face of these changes. Beyond timely, this anthology reflects a comprehensive and exciting collection that will certainly be widely read and appreciated."--Vincent J. Roscigno, Ohio State University; editor of American Sociological Review

"This book is a cutting-edge collection of excerpts and articles that thoroughly covers the many dimensions of contemporary work and employment. Each reading is preceded by a brief editorial paragraph that explains and contextualizes the topic, and each is then followed by incisive discussion questions. These learning aids will invite students' critical reflection and clarify for them the importance of all the entries in relation to the complex subject of work in the new economy."--Vicki Smith, University of California, Davis; author of Crossing the Great Divide:Worker Risk and Opportunity in the New Economy

Table of Contents

    Introduction: Work and the New Economy
    Part I: Historical Background for the New Economy
    1. The Way It Was: Factory Labor Before 1915, Sanford M. Jacoby
    2. Scientific Management, Harry Braverman
    3. Bureaucratic Control, Richard Edwards
    4. On Alienation, Karl Marx
    Part II: How Globalization, Technology, and Organization Affect Work
    A. Globalization
    5. Neoliberal Globalization, Dan Clawson
    6. Global Economy and Privileged Class, Robert Perrucci and Earl Wysong
    7. The Price of Jobs Lost, Louis Uchitelle and N. R. Kleinfield
    8. Grapes and Green Onions, David Bacon
    9. Workers Wanted: Employer Recruitment of Immigrant Labor, Nestor Rodriguez
    B. Technology
    10. Technology: The "Great Growling Engine of Change", Peter Dicken
    11. Worker Skills and Computer-Mediated Work, Shoshana Zuboff
    12. They Used to Use a Ball and Chain: Technology's Impact on the Workplace, Jill Andresky Fraser
    13. How Computers Change Work and Pay, Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane
    C. Organization
    14. Flexible Firms and Labor Market Segmentation: Effects of Workplace Restructuring on Jobs and Workers, Arne L. Kalleberg
    15. Bureaucratic Bloat, David M. Gordon
    16. Just a Temp, Jackie Rogers
    Part III: The Changing Face of Work
    A. Opportunities and Income
    17. Gender, Race, and Income Gaps, Richard Hogan and Carolyn Perrucci
    18. Inequality at Work: Wages and Promotion, Chris Tilly and Charles Tilly
    19. "Soft" Skills and Race, Philip Moss and Chris Tilly
    20. Glass Ceilings and Glass Escalators, David J. Maume, Jr.
    B. Professional Work
    21. The Organization of Mass Production Law, Jerry L. Van Hoy
    22. Unlikely Rebels, Stephen R. Barley and Gideon Kunda
    23. Professionalization and Work Intensification, Robert L. Brannon
    C. Life on the Factory Floor
    24. Why Teamwork Fails: Obstacles to Workplace Change in Four Manufacturing Plants, Steven P. Vallas
    25. Inside a Japanese Transplant, Laurie Graham
    26. Being Broken In: The First Two Weeks, Richard M. Pfeffer
    D. Service Work
    27. Gender and Service Delivery, Barbara A. Gutek, Bennett Cherry, and Markus Groth
    28. Over the Counter: McDonalds, Robin Leidner
    29. Wal-Mart, Barbara Ehrenreich
    Part IV: Work and Family Connections
    30. Envisioning the Integration of Family and Work, Jennifer L. Glass
    31. Overworked Individuals or Overworked Families?, Jerry A. Jacobs and Kathleen Gerson
    32. Scaling Back: Dual-Earner Couples' Work-Family Strategies, Penney Edgell Becker and Phyllis Moen
    33. Home-to-Job and Job-to-Home Spillover: The Impact of Company Policies and Workplace Culture, Sue Falter Mennino, Beth A. Rubin, and April Brayfield
    Part V: Emerging Issues
    A. Policies for Work and Family
    34. The Reluctant American Welfare State: Opting Out of Public Responsibility, Janet C. Gornick and Marcia K. Meyers
    35. The Relationship Between Work-Life Policies and Practices and Employee Loyalty, Patricia V. Roehling, Mark V. Roehling, and Phyllis Moen
    36. The Family Responsive Workplace, Jennifer L. Glass and Sarah Beth Estes
    B. Revitalizing the Workplace
    37. The Challenge of Organizing in a Globalized Flexible Industry: The Case of the Apparel Industry in Los Angeles, Edna Bonacich
    38. Lessons From Living-Wage Campaigns, Stephanie Luce
    39. Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business and Bad Medicine, Donald L. Barlett and James
    40. Promising Practices: How Employers Improve Their Bottom Lines by Addressing the Needs of Lower-Wage Workers, Stacy S. Kim, Marta Lopez, and James T. Bond