Work and Idleness: The Political Economy of Full Employment / Edition 1

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Work and Idleness develops the view that redistributing employment is a 'feasible capitalist' solution, not just to the unemployment which particular groups suffer, but also to the work that others have to contend with, including many women. Putting the redistribution of employment on the policy agenda opens up debate on how to ensure a more equitable and fulfilling relationship between the ways we gain our livelihoods and the lives we lead.
Growing insecurity in labour markets and changing patterns in the commodification of labour have led to a redistribution of paid and unpaid labour time as the structure of power relations, the gender order, discrimination, and state regulation have been modified. The first main trend affecting insecurity is mass unemployment and the growth of workless households. A second notable trend is a gender-based redistribution of hours worked. The third major trend is a shift from full-time waged work to full-time self-employment.
Part I of this book presents the main economic theories driving the continuing divide between the intensification of work and the extension of idleness. Part II documents the ways in which the shift to mass idleness in advanced industrial countries has hit some groups particularly hard: the youngest and oldest age groups and other groups, including disabled workers, have traditionally been subject to discrimination in the labor markets. Part III provides a set of policy prescriptions.

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Editorial Reviews

Develops the controversial view that redistributing employment, usually by cutting back the hours in the work week to create more jobs, is a feasible capitalist solution not only to the unemployment that particular groups suffer, but also for relieving others, such as women, of work they must now contend with. Describes the growing insecurity in the labor markets due to mass unemployment and the growth of workless households, a gender-based redistribution of hours worked, a shift from full- time waged work to full-time self-employment, and changes in state regulations. Also discusses how some groups, such as the old, the young, and the handicapped are increasingly discriminated against in the current climate. Provides a set of policy prescriptions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792383901
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 2/26/2008
  • Series: Recent Economic Thought Series, #66
  • Edition description: 1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 329
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. A Feasible Capitalist Response to a Changing Political Economy; J. Wheelock, J. Vail. Part I: Theories of Full Employment. 2. A Keynesian View of the Redistribution of Work; J. Wells. 3. Neo-Classical Perspectives on Unemployment and Labour Supply: the Macro Environment and Micro Responses; T. Barmby, M. Robson. 4. Whose Full Employment? A Feminist Perspective on Work Redistribution; I. Bruegel, et al. 5. A Green Approach to Work and Idleness; C. Sanne. Part II: Who Needs Work? 6. Crap Jobs, 'Govy' Schemes and Trainspotting: Reassessing the Youth, Employment and Idleness Debate; R. Hollands. 7. Managing the End of Occupational Life; G. Reday-Mulvey. 8. Working Opportunities for Disabled People; N. Lunt, P. Thornton. 9. Reducing the Burden of Work on Women? R. Woodward. Part III: Blueprints for Action. 10. The US Model: The Wages of Inequality; J. Bernstein, et al. 11. 'The Cult of Training'; Unemployment and Capitalist Employment Policy; G. Albo. 12. Redistributing Work: The Role of the Welfare State; D. Purdy. 13. Working Time in Europe: Current Trends; G. Fajertag. 14. Social Labour and Democratic Capital: The Margins or the Main-Stream? H. Wainwright, P. Gosling. 15. The Feasible Utopia of a Redistribution of Work: Radical Alternatives for Full Employment; J. Vail. Bibliography. Index.
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