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Globalization and Work

Globalization and Work

Steve Williams, Harriet Bradley, Ranji Devadason, Mark Erickson

ISBN: 978-0-745-65212-2

Feb 2014, Polity

300 pages

Out of stock



This engaging book offers a lively and rigorous synthesis of the varied interconnections between work and globalization. Drawing on relevant sociological insights, and based on extensive, up-to-date research studies of work and employment, it brings together for the first time in a single volume a range of key topics, including: consumption, work and identity in a globalizing world; work and employment in multinationals; international labour standards; trade unions, labour movements and labour conflict under globalization; gender and inequality; migrant labour; transnational mobility; and the organization of work in global factories.

Globalization and Work challenges conceptions of globalization as a project orchestrated by governments, multinational companies and international agencies. The authors highlight the importance of integrating a grounded, bottom-up perspective which recognizes that globalization is not just something that happens to working people, thereby revealing the fascinating extent to which workers actively engage in producing globalization. Throughout, the book contains a number of features to deepen understanding, including case study boxes of topical examples from across the globe.

Globalization and Work is an essential new book for anyone interested in globalization, the sociology of work and comparative employment relations, especially undergraduate and postgraduate students taking modules on these and related topics.

List of boxes

List of tables and figures

Preface: About this book        

Chapter 1. Globalization and work: an introduction     

Chapter 2. Consumption, work and identity in a globalizing world  

Chapter 3. Multinationals, work and employment in the global economy  

Chapter 4. Globalization and the regulation of international labour standards 

Chapter 5. Globalization, labour and social movements    

Chapter 6. Work and the management of labour in ‘global factories’ 

Chapter 7. Globalization and migrant labour     

Chapter 8. Globalization and transnational mobility     

Chapter 9. Work, gender and intersectional inequalities  

Chapter 10. Globalization and labour conflict    

Chapter 11. Conclusion      


"This book should be received gratefully and read avidly by lecturers and students alike. It provides a critical, sociological perspective on a wide-ranging set of themes and issues. It is highly accessible while remaining sophisticated and rigorous in its analysis. It is empirically rich and theoretically informed and the clear commitment to progressive social change should inspire students."
Work, Employment and Society

''Globalization is reshaping the world of work, creating new challenges for labor studies, as well as for activists and policy-makers. Drawing on examples from around the world, this clear and accessible overview is an invaluable resource for readers hoping to understand, and engage in, a rapidly changing world.''
Gay Seidman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

''Globalization and Work, written by experienced authorities, is an up-to-date bringing together of sociological research on the topic. Its nuanced distinctive perspective brings out how work is experienced, inequality and power, agency and resistance, and labour migrants and movements. It’s user-friendly and timely reading for students and experts.''
Luke Martell, University of Sussex

''While the title of this book is Globalization and Work, its scope is much wider, admirably showing the centrality of theorizing and grasping substantively both globalization and work in order to understand the contemporary world. It is an impressive work of scholarship and reflection, with something to offer students, teachers and researchers over a wide variety of subject areas.''
Leslie Sklair, London School of Economics

  • An ambitious textbook introduction to the broad intersections between globalization and the world of work
  • Covers a broad range of topics, including some at the cutting-edge of work in this field, such as transnational workers
  • Richly illustrated with interesting original examples, including a real commitment to empirical case studies from outside the Western world
  • Written in an accessible way designed to encourage readers to engage with the key questions and issues relating to work in a globalizing world