The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work

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SAGE, Dec 30, 2011 - Social Science - 296 pages
"A highly readable and approachable account of the sociology of work... a first-rate introductory text that is sure to become essential reading for students, teachers, and researchers."
- Jason Hughes, Brunel University

"An excellent text. Its comparative and historical sweep is particularly welcome and the analysis provided is thoughtful and well grounded."
- John Eldridge, University of Glasgow

"An invaluable and up-to-date text for students and researchers. Detailed and wide-ranging in its scope it is an excellent source of materials combined with a thought provoking and challenging set of arguments."
- Huw Beynon, Cardiff University

Stephen Edgell′s book charts the rise of ′work′ and explores all aspects of work including paid and unpaid, standard and non-standard and unemployment. New material has been incorporated covering the theories and practices of globalization, interactive service work, economic crisis, technological and organizational change, and trade unions. Drawing on classic and contemporary theorists, the book:

  • Covers key issues regarding paid industrial and service sector work: alienation, skill, post-industrial society, network enterprises, flexibility, Fordism, neo-Fordism, post-Fordism, McDonaldization, emotional labour, destandardization and the social impact of unemployment.
  • Discusses key issues regarding non-paid work: domestic work as ′work′, the impact of technology, symmetrical family thesis, the impact of feminism, and globalization.
  • Provides student friendly pedagogy: suggestions for further reading, questions for discussion and assessment, an extensive glossary and links to key websites and downloadable articles.

This latest edition will be welcomed by lecturers and students wanting an authoritative guide to the sociology of work.



1 the historical transformation of work
2 work and alienation
3 work and deskilling
4 work upskilling and polarization
fordism neofordism and postfordism
fordism neofordism and postfordism
7 nonstandard work
9 domestic work
paid and unpaid work
web addresses
name index
subject index

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About the author (2011)

Stephen Edgell is a Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Salford, England. He has undertaken qualitative research Middle Class Couples: A Study of Segregation, Domination and Inequality in Marriage (Allen & Unwin, 1980), quantitative research A Measure of Thatcherism: A Sociology of Britain (Unwin Hyman, 1991, co-author Vic Duke), and archival research Veblen in Perspective: His Life and Thought (Taylor & Francis, 2001), and has published numerous articles in a wide-range of British, American and European social science journals. A career-long interest in the sociology of work culminated in the publication of a textbook entitled The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work in 2006 and a revised 2nd edition in 2012. He is the co-editor of The SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment (2016), along with Heidi Gottfried and Edward Granter.

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