Keith Grint and Darren Nixon examine different sociological approaches to work, emphasizing the links between social processes, institutions of employment. The Sociology of Work [Keith Grint, Darren Nixon] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This leading, authoritative textbook has been carefully. need to respond to militant unions-led to a move away from centralised. Tayloristic approaches and a system of widespread small group activities in the.

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Topics range from definitional, grijt perspectives on work, to discussion of gender, race and class, finishing with an analysis of the proliferation of the knowledge and service sector in the global economy. The Sociology of Work, 4th Edition. Keith Grint and Darren Nixon.

The Sociology of Work: Introduction by Keith Grint

In a time of growing employment precarity, zero hour contracts and the globalisation of the workforce, the significance of our working lives is more pertinent than ever.

Keith Grint and Darren Nixon — academics at Warwick and Leeds Beckett universities, respectively — have offered a lengthy volume that tackles the contemporary permutations of the world of work in the 4 th edition of Sociology of Work. In essence, Sociology of Work is a university textbook that would suit an undergraduate and even postgraduate audience with a range of further reading and authors recommended, along with the inclusion of prospective seminar questions at the end of each chapter.

Each chapter acts as a new topic within the broader work sociology field, and given its textbook format could quite easily form a semester long university module. The key founding fathers of Marx, Weber and Durkheim make obvious appearances, with reference to their ideas effectively applied throughout. There is the suggestion throughout the book that there is, basically, no adequate theorisation of sociologh world of work.

Indeed, one of the key messages is the heterogeneity and diversity inherent in the contemporary work context, so this would not be too far off the mark in this regard. This perhaps also reflects the university textbook format, offering students an intense appraisal of authors in the field in order to encourage a future critical spirit amongst them. Such an intention would mostly certainly be welcomed in business schools. The separate chapters addressing gender, race and class help bring the issues in contemporary working life and its impact on certain groups into focus.


Although dealt with separately, the issues for each group naturally overlap into other areas. Whilst a crude stereotype, data on occupation and sex reveals that women make up a greater share of employment in administrative and secretarial work, personal service and sales and customer service.

The Sociology of Work: Introduction

Further data presented in the book show that work of this nature is typically low paid, part time and in the aforementioned occupations. Here in lies another key message in the book; the false, socially constructed distinction between paid, market labour and unpaid, domestic labour. This demonstrates the crucial role that domestic work plays in the production and reproduction of capitalism, providing it with a healthy workforce to go on and sell their productive labour in the paid, market sphere.

In essence, this suggests that the continuation of capitalism relies on women being in the home. The old fashioned view of a union member being a working class male working in heavy industry has never really been amenable to the plight of women.

Grint and Nixon present data highlighting the lower union densities of women members, but showing that some progress in recruiting women into unions is visible.

One of the new additions to this 4 th edition is chapter 10 on work and identity. Do we work for the instrumental, material rewards it brings, or because of more meaningful, expressive orientations? Clearly, there is no one answer to this. We need our wages to survive, but we also aspire work that is satisfying and helps us realise our potential as human beings. The challenge here, as argued by the authors, is that these two orientations are becoming more difficult to subsist because of the increasingly flexible, unstable and insecure nature of contemporary work.


The instrumental reasons for which we work are, seemingly, taking further precedence. Consumption is thus replacing the expressive orientations that work once provided.

To offer a trivial example — as the authors fail to do — the suggestion is that one is more likely to identify as a mod because of the Fred Perry shirt and Vespa scooter they buy, as opposed to their day job as a steelworker. The job as a steelworker simply provides the money to sustain the mod lifestyle. A usual criticism of social science textbooks is they tend to skim over issues in order to accommodate a higher number of topics in the limited space.

This means they are often lacking the required depth to fully understand the complexities of the social world.

This volume bucks that trend with intricate theoretical nuance where sociilogy matters, supplemented with relevant data where further explanation is required. For that keihh, it should be a definitive text for any student seeking to understand our necessarily frustrating relationship with the world of work. His doctoral research explores restructuring processes in the steel industry, particularly focusing on how organisations ameliorate the negative impacts of job loss.

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Karol Gajda The separate chapters addressing gender, race and class help bring the issues in contemporary working life and its impact on certain groups into focus. Previous post Next post. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

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