privatization(redirected from Privitisation)
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acquisition and operation by a country of business enterprises formerly owned and operated by private individuals or corporations. State or local authorities have traditionally taken private property for such public purposes as the construction of roads, dams,
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- the sale or transfer of ‘nationalized’, publicly owned industries into private ownership and control. In the UK this process is particularly associated with the economic and social theories of THATCHERISM. The sale of shares in British Telecom, British Petroleum, British Gas, British Airways, and other companies is one aspect of this. In other areas the sale of council houses, and proposed changes in the WELFARE STATE, particularly in the funding of health and education, are comparable. See NEW RIGHT, NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT
- retreat of the individual from participation in political and PUBLIC activities.
- a process in which traditional, working-class communal life styles are said to have been replaced by more family and home-centred ones, away from the older working- class housing and in relatively new housing estates. Sense 3 is particularly associated with the AFFLUENT WORKER study of GOLDTHORPE, LOCKWOOD et al. (1968-9). The focus of interest in this work is the hypothesis that significant changes in attitudes are associated with privatization. In particular, the breakdown of class loyalties, an ‘instrumentalist’ orientation to work, a new concern with living standards and status, a more pragmatic political orientation (rather than an ‘automatic’ support for the Labour Party), greater job mobility, and, generally, more individualistic attitudes. The Affluent Worker study is undoubtedly a ‘classic’ of British sociological research. Drawing on a number of themes which were popular in the 1950s and 60s, it has been a source for theoretical and empirical work in the areas of working-class structure, CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS, and CLASS IMAGERY. Critics have indicated the oversimplification of Lockwood and Goldthorpe's categories, questioning their empirical usefulness in circumstances in which nontraditional class locations are associated with instrumentality and increased political militancy. Critics have also noted the lack of consideration given to factors other than social CLASS in the work: race, gender, religion, age, for example, may all affect attitudes (see Rose, 1988). As part of the reorientation of British sociology in the study of social class and class consciousness, though, this study of changing aspects of social class structure and consciousness remains of central importance.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000