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Inequality+and+Stratification+in+America

Inequality+and+Stratification+in+America - Inequality and...

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Inequality and Stratification in America
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“The old economy has not been replaced by a new economy; the old economy is operating within the new economy.” Concerns facing workers today result from: Changes in contemporary workplaces Structural lags in adapting to those changes Enduring failures to address inequalities in old economy
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Culture: Influenced by cultural scripts and availability of resources Structure: Patterns of social organization that determine who gets what Agency: Ability of workers to direct their own lives, individually and collectively, to modify structure and culture of work
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Work organization and practices developed in the wake of the Industrial Revolution through the mid-20 th century. Features: Mass production (producing goods in large quantities for mass markets) Gendered divisions of labor Unionized labor
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Argued for the separation of “thought” from “execution” Creation of deskilled jobs Dissolution of many craft skills Decline in worker’s ability to control conditions and rewards of work Taylor interpreted worker behavior not as a rational, class-based resistance to employers but as an irrational unwillingness to work in the right way.
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Natural that some should be owners and others laborers Saw workers as essentially unintelligent and easily manipulated and inferior Belief that capitalism was correct Brought about development and application of assembly lines Promoted the acceptance that some people should be paid to think and others to labor Fostered divisions between white and blue collar jobs.
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Work restructuring due to changes such as: Introduction of computer technologies Expansion of a global economy Shifts in the composition of workforce New organizational and managerial paradigms Shift from near-exclusive reliance on manufacturing base to the service sector Has created new job demands & opportunities Some need for new skills but still many unskilled low-wage jobs
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