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A New Sociology of Work?

Lynne Pettinger (Editor), Jane Perry (Editor), Rebecca Taylor (Editor), Miriam Glucksmann (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-3903-8
256 pages
March 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
A New Sociology of Work? (140513903X) cover image
This book asks what might be required of “a new sociology of work” and why such a project is vital for understanding people’s working lives at the start of the twenty-first century.

  • A collection of essays examining the concept of work, questioning what constitutes work, and where work ends and other activities begin.
  • Acknowledges the work that goes on outside formal employment, in the family, the community and within various institutions.
  • Highlights the importance of understanding the broad range of experiences of work in order to provide a more meaningful account of people’s work practices.
  • Draws on studies which explore how localized temporal, temporal and socio-economic factors shape people’s experiences.
  • The editors develop a distinctive theoretical framework and draw together key conclusions and policy recommendations.
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Acknowledgements.

Part 1: Conceptualizing work.

Confronting the challenges of work today: New horizons and perspectives (Jane Parry, Rebecca Taylor, Lynne Pettinger and Miriam Glucksmann).

Shifting boundaries and interconnections: extending the ‘total social organisation of labour’ (Miriam Glucksmann).

Part 2: Re-examining paid employment.

Friends, relations and colleagues: The blurred boundaries of the workplace (Lynne Pettinger).

Interaction distance and the social meaning of occupations (Wendy Bottero).

Changing Times; Flexibilization and the re-organization of work in feminized labour markets (Angela Coyle).

Part 3: Privatized work.

Time and labour: Fathers’ perceptions of employment and childcare (Esther Dermott).

Doing the dirty work of social class? Mothers’ work in support of their children’s schooling (Diane Reay).

Part 4: Challenging the boundaries of the public and private spheres.

Rethinking voluntary work (Rebecca F. Taylor).

Markets and politics: public and private relations in the case of prostitution (Jackie West and Terry Austrin).

Care in the Community? Gender and the reconfiguration of community work in a post-mining neighbourhood (Jane Parry).

Part 5: International comparisons.

Public and private: Implications for care work (Pat Armstrong and Hugh Armstrong).

Care, work and feeling (Clare Ungerson).

Welfare State regimes and the social organization of labour: Childcare arrangements and the work/family balance dilemma (Margarita León).

Bibliography.

Notes on Contributors.

Index.

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Lynne Pettinger is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex. Her research interests include work and consumption in the service sector, with particular reference to aesthetic labour, and to the relationship between production and consumption more generally. She is currently examining the relationship between work, leisure and consumption in the lives of amateur musicians.

Jane Parry is Senior Research Fellow, who has worked in the Employment Group at the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) since 2000. A qualitative sociologist, her research interests include labour market disadvantage, lifestyle transitions, and the significance of work for individual identities, in particular, how these are affected by class, gender, ethnicity and occupational sector.

Rebecca Taylor is Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute whose research interests include voluntary work, community work and forms of work outside employment. Recent research has focused on those marginalized by the labour market such as ethnic minorities and older workers.

Miriam Glucksmann is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. She has longstanding research interests in the historical and contemporary restructuring of work and employment. Her books include Women on the Line (1982) published under the pseudonym of Ruth Cavendish and Cotton and Casuals: the gendered organisation of labour in time and space (2000). Currently she is engaged on a three-year programme of research on ‘Transformations of work: new frontiers, shifting boundaries, changing temporalities’ as an ESRC Professorial Fellow.


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  • A collection of essays examining the concept of work, questioning what constitutes work, and where work ends and other activities begin.
  • Acknowledges the work that goes on outside formal employment, in the family, the community and within various institutions.
  • Highlights the importance of understanding the broad range of experiences of work in order to provide a more meaningful account of people’s work practices.
  • Draws on studies which explore how localized temporal, temporal and socio-economic factors shape people’s experiences.
  • The editors develop a distinctive theoretical framework and draw together key conclusions and policy recommendations.
See More
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