proletarianization

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proletarianization

  1. (MARXISM) the process whereby intermediate groups and classes (see INTERMEDIATE GROUPS) are reduced, by an inevitable logic of monopolization and capitalization, to the level of wage labourers.
  2. in more recent sociology, the process in which the work situation of some middle-class workers becomes increasingly comparable to that of the manual working class, with consequent implications for trade union and political attitudes.
In the latter, more common sociological meaning, the focus has usually been on routine WHITE-COLLAR and office workers. One of the first extensive discussions of office work in this context was that of David LOCKWOOD (1958) (see BLACK-COATED WORKER), who concluded that tendencies to proletarianization were offset by differences in the STATUS and WORK SITUATION of these workers compared with manual workers. The argument was later taken up, notably in the work of Harry Braverman (1974), who suggested that the logic of capitalist development was to deskill and routinize work wherever possible, whether by the introduction of new technology or by the reorganization of work, broadly on the principle of SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. The outcome of these changes in the labour process was to degrade work and make redundant previous status differentials. Braverman's thesis, however, has been the subject of an extensive debate. His work has been criticized, amongst other things, for over-simplifying the degree of deskilling, neglecting the development of new occupational groups with new and high-level skills, and ignoring the extent to which workers are able to resist management pressures. Also, continuing Lockwood's theme, while it is the case that the lower sectors of white-collar and MIDDLE-CLASS occupations are comparable to manual work in some terms, e.g. pay and autonomy

important differences remain in working conditions and, for some white-collar workers, job security, sick pay and promotion prospects. Routh (1980), for instance, showed that about 80% of male white-collar workers who started in routine office work were promoted during their working lives. This is not, though, the situation for women, who comprise about 70% of routine office workers and have far fewer opportunities for upward mobility (Crompton and Jones, 1984) (see also CONTRADICTORY CLASS LOCATIONS). The situation is also complicated by the ways in which gender expectations affect market and work situations. See also CLASS, SOCIAL STRATIFICATION, SOCIAL MOBILITY, MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION, CLASS POLARIZATION, CLASS IMAGERY.

References in periodicals archive ?
The author uses the idea of the proletarian dream in German culture from 1863 to 1933 to illustrate the role of emotions in social movements and the formative role of culture.
The first theme is the importance of recognizing that social action should draw on the historical wellsprings of agency amongst proletarian groups during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Yet, the artists and performers associated with the ballet were mostly proletarian, who held a liberal view and were open to the ideals of socialism as propounded by the Bolsheviks.
He was born in Riga -- the city to which he dedicated his most significant work with the series The Proletarian Districts of Riga (1970-1980) -- which includes approximately 7,500 negatives and hundreds of printed photographs.
But just because these discussions recognize that many left-wing notions either attributed too much potential for social transformation to workers or exaggerated the bourgeois abandonment of liberal principles, and because he shows that some moderate socialists were hardly less terrified by the threat of Bolshevik dictatorship and violence than were bourgeois liberals, the notion that what chiefly stood in the way of "proletarian democracy" was bourgeois fear seems one-sided here as elsewhere (175).
At the same time, however--as suggested by my epigraphs--the novel seems to privilege "female realism" over "foolish male dreams" by opposing proletarian women who are strong, wise, communally minded and distrustful of capitalism to individualistic, tin realistic men, especially the narrator's capitalist.
I believe it was Leon Trotsky who wrote that there are two cultures in every capitalist society, the bourgeois culture and the proletarian culture.
First, there is the emerging prominence of images of the proletarian woman in a wide array of journalistic, literary, and visual media (i.e., posters and film).
Proletarian nights; the workers' dream in nineteenth-century France, rev ed.
Wherever you look in the history and culture of the USSR, there it is--the iron horse of Communism, the icon and fetish of the proletarian empire.
This would ignite yet another controversy when Rivera produced a surreal montage of Soviet hagiography and proletarian revolt.
Indeed, as Fine notes, the archtypical proletarian heroes of the New Deal-Popular Front era--white male factory workers--and their children were depicted in both popular and scholarly discourses as part of "George Wallace's popularity in the North in 1968, the Reagan Democrats of the 1980s, the Ross Perot phenomenon of 1992, the so-called 'angry-white-man' congressional election of 1994, and the importance of working-class members of the National Rifle Association during the 2000 presidential election." (9).