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).

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
With its concern for the worker, German industrial sociology focuses on "qualifications" at the workplace, a concern reinforced by the centrality of the nationally standardized vocational training system.
From Industrial Sociology to Organizational Analysis: Over Forty Years of Research
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of Technology, Australia) and Bailey (George Washington U., US) define organization studies as "the examination of how individuals construct organizational structures, processes, and practices, and how these, in turn, shape social relations and create institutions that ultimately influence people." As such they have structured their four-volume encyclopedia such that it accounts for both the field's foundations in such disciplines as behavioral psychology and political science as well as more recent contributions from ergonomics, industrial sociology, industrial economics, the theory of bureaucracy, operations research, systems theory, feminism, poststructuralism, and elsewhere.
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To reiterate, this is a seminal text in industrial sociology, sociology and politics written by experts.
The book is on the required reading list of my under-graduate course in industrial sociology. It is a must read for students of lean production and team concept, and I recommend it to anyone interested in labour and industrial relations.
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Its theoretical and scholarly value will make it both a fascinating and thought provoking text to all those concerned with debates on African social sciences; on industrial sociology and/or sociology of work; on higher education and transformation in post-colonial, post-apartheid Africa; and on the broader discourse of globalisation and development.
He earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Lagos State University in 2001 and doctorate in industrial sociology from the University of Ibadan in 2009.

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