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Confronting the challenges of work today: new horizons and perspectives

Confronting the challenges of work today: new horizons and perspectives
Confronting the challenges of work today: new horizons and perspectives
Introductory chapter to edited collection, setting out our perspective:

The central aim of this publication is to initiate and develop an empirically grounded understanding of the nature, dimensions, and relations of different forms of work. Work is not assumed to be a discrete activity carried out in exchange for remuneration in institutions (although it can be) but, rather, is conceptualized as being embedded in other domains and entangled in other sorts of social relations. To be clear, it is not suggested that employment is no longer a relevant category. Indeed paid work and employment remain critical to debates within the sociology of work. However, we argue that these may be better illuminated when conceptualized in the context of a broader understanding of what constitutes work. A perception of the variety of ways that people engage in work in contemporary society could offer a more accurate depiction of the complex, messy, dynamic trajectories that encapsulate people’s working lives. From this perspective for example, life-stages not normally associated with work, such as time spent in education, retirement or unemployment, take on new interest for the sociologist of work.

Most crucially, the project has far-reaching implications for how we understand social inequalities. A movement away from the fixed boundaries of occupation, for example, raises new questions about the relationship between work and social class, and between work and gender relations, and ethnic and age-based differences. Occupation may indicate class position but class position also defines orientation to work in its broadest forms – from domestic labour to voluntary work. A New Sociology of Work? foregrounds the way in which inequalities manifested in one domain have a re-iterative relationship with behaviours and values in another domain.
9781405139038
3-18
Blackwell
Parry, Jane
c7061194-16cb-434e-bf05-914623cfcc63
Taylor, Rebecca
2cc65d53-bacc-46d0-83a6-00c4a24be67f
Pettinger, Lynne
76b22fee-e317-4d77-b95b-ddb8382b96bd
Glucksmann, Miriam
00d7c4c3-6426-4f80-8986-f8206b27d2eb
Parry, Jane
Taylor, Rebecca
Pettinger, Lynne
Glucksmann, Miriam
Parry, Jane
c7061194-16cb-434e-bf05-914623cfcc63
Taylor, Rebecca
2cc65d53-bacc-46d0-83a6-00c4a24be67f
Pettinger, Lynne
76b22fee-e317-4d77-b95b-ddb8382b96bd
Glucksmann, Miriam
00d7c4c3-6426-4f80-8986-f8206b27d2eb
Parry, Jane
Taylor, Rebecca
Pettinger, Lynne
Glucksmann, Miriam

Parry, Jane, Taylor, Rebecca, Pettinger, Lynne and Glucksmann, Miriam (2006) Confronting the challenges of work today: new horizons and perspectives. In, Parry, Jane, Taylor, Rebecca, Pettinger, Lynne and Glucksmann, Miriam (eds.) A New Sociology of Work? (The Sociological Review Monographs) Oxford, GB. Blackwell, pp. 3-18.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Introductory chapter to edited collection, setting out our perspective:

The central aim of this publication is to initiate and develop an empirically grounded understanding of the nature, dimensions, and relations of different forms of work. Work is not assumed to be a discrete activity carried out in exchange for remuneration in institutions (although it can be) but, rather, is conceptualized as being embedded in other domains and entangled in other sorts of social relations. To be clear, it is not suggested that employment is no longer a relevant category. Indeed paid work and employment remain critical to debates within the sociology of work. However, we argue that these may be better illuminated when conceptualized in the context of a broader understanding of what constitutes work. A perception of the variety of ways that people engage in work in contemporary society could offer a more accurate depiction of the complex, messy, dynamic trajectories that encapsulate people’s working lives. From this perspective for example, life-stages not normally associated with work, such as time spent in education, retirement or unemployment, take on new interest for the sociologist of work.

Most crucially, the project has far-reaching implications for how we understand social inequalities. A movement away from the fixed boundaries of occupation, for example, raises new questions about the relationship between work and social class, and between work and gender relations, and ethnic and age-based differences. Occupation may indicate class position but class position also defines orientation to work in its broadest forms – from domestic labour to voluntary work. A New Sociology of Work? foregrounds the way in which inequalities manifested in one domain have a re-iterative relationship with behaviours and values in another domain.

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Published date: 2 March 2006
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 208495
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/208495
ISBN: 9781405139038
PURE UUID: 58ee2e2b-2ec3-477d-8738-6ba94f55ddc5

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Date deposited: 24 Jan 2012 15:23
Last modified: 22 Sep 2020 16:36

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Contributors

Author: Jane Parry
Author: Rebecca Taylor
Author: Lynne Pettinger
Author: Miriam Glucksmann
Editor: Jane Parry
Editor: Rebecca Taylor
Editor: Lynne Pettinger
Editor: Miriam Glucksmann

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