4-12 - The Economy Overview Affirmative Action continued...

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Unformatted text preview: The Economy Overview Affirmative Action continued The Economy as a Social Institution The Modern U.S. Economy Affirmative Action Affirmative Action: Policies aimed at recruiting members of underrepresented groups (racial/ ethnic minorities, women) into workplaces, educational institutions, etc. Designed as collective remedy for past and current discrimination LBJ's foot race example Political "hotbutton" Facts on Affirmative Action Quotas are illegal (besides court ordered) Women have been equal beneficiaries of AA Supreme Court has upheld "diversity" as a legal justification for AA AA is a type of group preference; debate about whether it's a just preference and what constitutes a qualification The Economy as a Social Institution Mechanism by which goods and services are distributed in society But also... Powerful agent of socialization Major source of norms and values Major source of social solidarity Tremendous influence on social stratification and life chances The Economy as a Social Institution The Social Significance of Work Source of income Provides temporal structure of everyday life Social contacts Personal identity The Economy as a Social Institution The Social Organization of Work Among the most distinctive characteristics of modern economies are: Highly complex division of labor High degree of economic interdependence World Economic Systems Capitalism Increasingly dominant form of economic organization worldwide Reliance on market versus other means of production and distribution Private ownership of the means of production and distribution Main incentive is the accumulation of profit The Modern Economy Globalization Increasing interdependence of national economies Increasing transnational flows of people, goods, services, capital, and culture Having a profound impact on work and culture around the globe Both positive and negative The Modern Economy The Functionalist Perspective and Globalization The globalization of capitalism is functional for the world system Allows nations to exercise their comparative advantage Resulting in the most efficient distribution of goods and services worldwide The Modern Economy The Conflict Perspective and Globalization Expanding domination of a global corporate elite Does not represent the best interests of the vast majority of people Represents a "race to the bottom" The Modern Economy Economic Restructuring in the U.S. Economic opportunity structure facing American workers is rapidly changing Characterized by two trends: Deindustrialization Rise in contingent employment relations Economic Restructuring in the U.S. Deindustrialization Shift from goodsproducing to service based economy Job losses in manufacturing due to increased automation and lower wage rates in less developed countries Service sector includes widerange of jobs that vary greatly in quality Economic Restructuring in the U.S. The Contingent Workforce Rise in outsourcing, subcontracting, and temporary work contracts Increases flexibility for employers and workers Contingent workers tend to earn less than other workers and lack fringe benefits Most contingent workers indicate they would rather be regular employees Economic Restructuring in the U.S. Decline in Unionization Important institutional mechanism for advancing the collective interests of workers Steady decline in recent decades Loss of blue collar work Organizing efforts slow to respond to restructuring Economic Restructuring in the U.S. Loss of Ground for the Less Educated Increasingly divergent realities among the more and less educated Primarily driven by changing opportunity structure faced by the less educated Implications of Globalization and Economic Restructuring Uncertainty Reality is one of both displacement and new opportunities Much will depend on how people collectively respond to and shape economic change ...
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