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The Cultural Study of Work

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Overview

This anthology brings more than fifty years of scholarship of the culture and sociology of work into a compelling introductory and analytical text. Sociologists have long sought to understand the universal activity of work from the point of view of the worker. This book shows how common sociological themes such as socialization, social interaction, the social construction of time, and deviance are experienced in work settings as diverse as the factory, the nightclub, the restaurant, and the offices of high-tech professionals. Featuring vivid ethnographies, the book is organized around the concept of culture: the recognition that people doing things together organize social life in common and identifiable ways. As such, this collection can be used as an innovative core reader or as an ideal supplement to standard texts that approach work from the demographic, structural, or macro perspectives. An online teaching guide is available to all adopters.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The editors have brought together a superb collection of occupational studies ranging from medical and veterinary practitioners to paralegals, beauticians, barbers, and baseball players that illuminates the inescapable connection between work and self-conception. The authors deserve the thanks of those interested in society for keeping alive the contributions of Hughes and those who were influenced by him. The insights provided by this book merit a wide and enthusiastic readership; they will not be disappointed. Essential.
Times Literary Supplement
Douglas Harper and Helen M. Lawson's rich collection on work cultures is especially welcome, and interesting.
Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute
The Cultural Study of Work is an excellent introduction to the field, a pleasure to read, and with its organizational and editorial strength , a volume that is likely to be of lasting value.
Howard S. Becker
The Cultural Study of Work brings together twenty-three articles that describe the world of work seen close up, by social scientists who took the time and trouble to observe it close up and over long periods of time. The book provides the empirical basis for understanding work as a social phenomenon and so fills a important gap. The material comes from a great variety of sources and would be hard to get your hands on in any other way.
Tom Fricke
This is the essential book for readers who want to know what the major trends in work scholarship have been, for those in need of a text for introductory and even graduate classes, or for those who simply want to savor the watershed moments in scholarship that highlights both ethnographic and theoretical treatments.
Roger Brown
A stimulating, thoughtful, and well-considered collection of great value to undergraduate and post-graduate students and lecturers working in sociology, socio-cultural anthropology, and cultural studies fields.
CHOICE
The editors have brought together a superb collection of occupational studies ranging from medical and veterinary practitioners to paralegals, beauticians, barbers, and baseball players that illuminates the inescapable connection between work and self-conception. The authors deserve the thanks of those interested in society for keeping alive the contributions of Hughes and those who were influenced by him. The insights provided by this book merit a wide and enthusiastic readership; they will not be disappointed. Essential.
Norman K. Denzin
This is a bold, innovative work. Harper and Lawson and their contributors have assembled a powerful body of work that attests to the cultural construction, creation, meaning and organization of work in a technological, post-industrial world. This is an invaluable collection that belongs on the shelf of all serious students of work, culture, and the organization of everyday life.
Times Literary Supplement (UK)
Douglas Harper and Helen M. Lawson's rich collection on work cultures is especially welcome, and interesting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742519176
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Harper, professor and chair of the sociology department at Duquesne University, is the author of Working Knowledge: Skill and Community in a Small Shop (1987) and Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Helene M. Lawson, professor and program director of sociology and coordinator of the gender studies program at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, is the author of Ladies on the Lot: Women, Car Sales, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I. Work as Social Interaction Chapter 3 Chapter 1. Teamwork in the Operating Room Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Manufacturing Motherhood: The Shadow Work of Nannies and Au Pairs Part 5 Part II. Socialization and Identity Chapter 6 Chapter 3. The Fate of Idealism in Medical School Chapter 7 Chapter 4. Occupational Aesthetics: How Trade School Students Learn to Cook Chapter 8 Chapter 5. Incorporation and Mechanical Solidarity in an Underground Coal Mine Chapter 9 Chapter 6. Dancing with Identity: Narrative Resistance Strategies of Male and Female Stripteasers Chapter 10 Chapter 7. Careers Chapter 11 Chapter 8. Career Concerns and Mobility Motivations of Orchestra Musicians Part 12 Part III. Experiencing Work Part 13 A. Work as Practical Accomplishment Chapter 14 Chapter 9. The Social Construction of Truth: Editing an Encyclopedia Chapter 15 Chapter 10. Baseball Magic Chapter 16 Chapter 11: The Police on Skid-Row:A Study of Peace Keeping Part 17 B. The Social Construction of Emotions in Work Chapter 18 Chapter 12. The Slanted Smile Factory: Emotion Management in Tokyo Disneyland Chapter 19 Chapter 13. Learning Real Feelings: A Study of High Steel Ironworkers' Reactions to Fear and Danger Part 20 C. Work and Time Chapter 21 Chapter 14. From Night to Day: Timing and the Management of Custodial Work Chapter 22 Chapter 15. The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work Part 23 Part IV. Work Cultures and Social Structure Part 24 A. Cultures of Blue-collar Work Chapter 25 Chapter 16. "Banana Time": Job Satisfaction and Informal Interaction Chapter 26 Chapter 17. Hanging Tongues: A Sociological Encounter with the Assembly Line Part 27 B. Cultures of the Professions, Semiprofessions, and Service Occupations Chapter 28 Chapter 18. Annoying Owners: Routine Interactions with Problematic Clients in a General Veterinary Practice Chapter 29 Chapter 19. Occupational Claims to Professionalism: The Case of Paralegals Chapter 30 Chapter 20. Working on Hair Chapter 31 Chapter 21. Women, Resistance and Care: An Ethnographic Study of Nursing Auxiliary Work Part 32 Part V: Deviance in Work Chapter 33 Chapter 22. Illicit Prescription Drug Use among Pharmacists: Evidence of a Paradox of Familiarity Chapter 34 Chapter 23. Wheeling and Dealing: An Ethnography of an Upper-Level Drug Dealing and Smuggling Community Chapter 35 Index

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