Work and Politics: The Division Of Labour In Industry
Publication Date: 30 Jul 1982
Author: Charles F. Sabel
Work and Politics develops a historical and comparative sociology of workplace relations in industrial capitalist societies. Professor Sabel argues that the system of mass production using specialized machines and mostly unskilled workers was the result of the distribution of power and wealth in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Great Britain and the United States, not of an inexorable logic of technological advance. Once in place, this system created the need for workers with systematically different ideas about the acquisition of skill and the desirability of long-term employment. Professor Sabel shows how capitalists have played on naturally existing division in the workforce in order to match workers with diverse ambitions to jobs in different parts of the labor market. But he also demonstrates the limits, different from work group to work group, of these forms of collaboration.