industrial sociology


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industrial sociology

The study of work as paid employment, and of industry. The chief concerns of this subdiscipline have been the division of labour, both social and technical (see also OCCUPATIONAL STRUCTURE); the experience of work; and the role and consequences of TECHNOLOGY within industry. In addition, the subject includes the study of industrial bureaucracies and INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (see Burns, 1962). see also ORGANIZATION THEORY.

Industrial sociology has its roots in the analysis of INDUSTRIALIZATION provided by MARX, WEBER and DURKHEIM and has involved comparative studies between advanced industrial societies. However, much of industrial sociology has been concentrated on studies of the workplace, with cross-cultural issues dealt with implicitly by reference to North American texts (e.g. Blauner, 1964), leaving more explicit comparative analysis to ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY or COMPARATIVE SOCIOLOGY. In consequence, the subdiscipline has been particularly concerned with the impact of industrialization in terms of the issues raised by worker attitudes and motivation, through a consideration of SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT, HUMAN RELATIONS and ALIENATION and POWER relations within industry.

This preoccupation with social relations and worker morale within the factory came under pressure with the development of the postindustrial thesis (see POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY) in the 1960s and the emergence of the SERVICE SECTOR as a major employer of labour. More serious criticisms, in terms of their impact on the integrity of the subdiscipline, came in the 1970s. following, firstly, the rediscovery of the LABOUR PROCESS (P. Thompson, 1989) and, secondly, the development of FEMINIST THEORY. The common point of the criticisms was that industrial sociology was too limited in its major focus on factory work. The two critiques, however, differed markedly in their emphases. The labour process critique was more concerned with the POLITICAL ECONOMY and the relationship between, on the one hand, the organization and control of labour and on the other, the appropriation and realization of SURPLUS VALUE. The feminist critique was concerned with extending the domain and discourse to cover the following: the interrelationship between paid and unpaid work; gender issues; and the relation between work and society. In consequence of these criticisms, the focus of industrial sociology has changed recently from ‘industry’ to ‘work’ (see also SOCIOLOGY OF WORK).

References in periodicals archive ?
Unlike America and Britain, Australia lacked an industrial sociology tradition of workplace-level research with the study of industrial relations dominated by a preoccupation with the formal institutions of industrial arbitration, trade unions and employer associations.
When I began teaching organization studies in 1978 I found the field extraordinary narrow, gendered and dull for someone trained, like myself, in industrial sociology.
The discussion of an Anglo-American model is diffused throughout several distinct literatures involving comparative political economy, industrial sociology, and business history.
It brought together and reconfigured both stratification theory and industrial sociology, reverberating into political sociology.
Then, in association with the Institute of Organization and Industrial Sociology, I organized the first EGOS Colloquium at Arresohoj.
As the authors explain, industrial sociology and industrial relations moved apart in the postwar era as industrial relations scholarship focused more on the "applied" study of collective bargaining and less on analyzing the labor movement as a social movement.
Industrial sociology theory says that modern industrial routines devalue employees by removing their ability to have an impact on the work they do.
In Chapter 2, Pamela Meil, the American contributor, characterizes German industrial sociology as follows:
Their work-for example, their earlier coedited volume, Shop Floor Bargaining and the State 1985)-has greatly contributed to the resurgence of historical perspectives, especially in industrial sociology and political economy, not least because of their remarkable familiarity with the topics and theories discussed in those disciplines.
His background is in geography, sociology, and planning studies and he has a doctorate in industrial sociology.
He transformed the existing course in industrial sociology by drawing on critical theory, largely Marxist theory.
Hirsch-Kreinsen (economic and industrial sociology, Dortmund U.

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