The Sociology of Work / Edition 3

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"The third edition of this best-selling textbook has been carefully revised to provide an up-to-date, indispensable introduction to the sociology of work. It not only includes clear explanations of classic theories and evidence, but also covers the most cutting-edge research, data and debates. The book contains substantive new sections on globalization, including global branding and slave labour, and a new chapter on the myths and realities of modern employment." "Chapter-by-chapter, Keith Grint examines different sociological approaches to work, emphasizing the links between social processes, the institutions of employment, and their social and domestic contexts. His use of an international range of empirical evidence helps to make his account especially accessible to undergraduate readers. The book has been specially designed to support students' understanding of, and to develop their critical responses to, the literature. Written in a lively and accessible style, it provides student-friendly chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, a glossary and practice essay questions." This third edition will be essential reading for students of the sociology of work, industrial sociology, organizational behavior and industrial relations. Students studying business and management courses with a sociological component will also find the book invaluable.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is simply no better comprehensive introduction to the sociological approaches to work and contemporary trends within the workplace. Keith Grint’s text is a thoughtful and comprehensive guide for the student and a useful resource for those more familiar with the field."Richard J. Badham, Macquarie Graduate School of Management

"This third edition of The Sociology of Work will be an invaluable resource for students seeking a sociological introduction to the rapidly changing world of work and employment. The text provides some excellent and succinct definitions of key terms and good introductions to relevant theoretical approaches. Some of the highly contemporary empirical material will enable students to connect theoretical debate with the lived experience of work."

Steve Taylor, University of Teesside

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745632490
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Grint, Professor of Leadership Studies and Director of the Lancaster Leadership Centre, Lancaster University

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables




1 What is Work?


Problems of definition

Working beyond the contemporary West

Historical rhetorics of work: views from above and below

Radical approaches to work

Contemporary Western orientations to work

Domestic labour



Exam/essay questions

Further reading

2 Work in Historical Perspective


Pre-industrial work

The transition from feudalism to proto-industrialization

Factories and technological change

Occupational change

Work, the family and gender

The rise of trade unionism

State intervention and the Factory Acts

The state and the development of clerical labour

Women, work and war


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

3 Classical Approaches to Work: Marx, Weber and Durkheim


Marx and capitalism

Durkheim and industrial society



Exam/essay questions

Further reading

4 Contemporary Theories of Work Organization





Human relations

Neo-human relations

Organizational cultures

Critical theories

Systems theories

Contingency theory

Action theory

Population ecology theory

Political organizational theories

Foucault and post-modernism

Actor networks

Institutional theory


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

5 Class, Industrial Conflict and the Labour Process


Theoretical approaches to class

Class, trade unions and revolution

British trade unions and labourism

Class and industrial action

Accounting for industrial action

Marx, Taylorism and the capitalist labour process

Braverman and the labour process


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

6. Gender, Patriarchy and Trade Unions


Theoretical viewpoints on women and work

Women and paid labour: the contemporary evidence

Labour market restructuring and professional women

Women and trade unions

Masculinity, domestic labour and violence


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

7. Race, Ethnicity and Labour Markets: Recruitment and the Politics of Exclusion


Race, racism and ethnicity

Labour markets and racism

Recruitment and racism

Trade unions, workers and racial discrimination


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

8. Working Technology


Technological determinism

Social determinism

Flexible specialization, Fordism, neo-Fordism and post-Fordism


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

9. Present Work: The Age of Employment


Manufacturing, McDonalization and migrants

Living to work or working to live?

Social class, wealth and health

Work, productivity and pay: a fat cat or a dog’s life?


Exam/essay questions

Further reading

10. Future Work: Globalization and the Age of Enthralment?


Modelling the future or walking backwards into it?

The context of globalization

Global inequality

Global cultural imperialism: branding

Global exploitation: enthralment

Global exploitation: slavery


Exam/essay questions

Further reading




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