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 ?
As he points out, the proletarianization model that occupied left-leaning African studies in the 1960s and 1970s was premised, often unconsciously, on the assumption that it was men who were the workers.
Burton's representation thus evokes analogous hegemonic anxieties to those triggered by the brute: the specters of proletarianization and masculine insecurities that vexed the American imagination at the turn of the century.
That said, Hertz's formulation invites one to hear within it de Rougemont's theme of proletarianization (the political Left as the baneful hand), but for that very reason the labor theory of value as well.
Proletarianization (having its etymologic roots in "proletariat," or "of the working class") refers to the fact that new cultural norms, such as less rigid respect for status and authority, and instant digital access to expert information--information previously guarded by the gatekeepers of knowledge who exercised their expert power--have eased the entry of previously marginalized groups into the professional class.
Animals and time become interesting when Stiegler suggests that the crisis of capitalism is a collapse that occurs through short termism, with the time of knowledge and of investment erased, and proletarianization of retention meaning an extensive loss of knowledge.
More specifically, I contend that the shift to postmodernism occurs when authors respond to the proletarianization of white-collar work (including authorship) not through the effort--shared by writers as diverse as Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, and Jack Kerouac--to craft an incor-ruptibly personal style, but rather by elaborating formal concomitants of the systemic forces seen to threaten middle-class individuality.
Politico-moralism has had many effects, not the least of which is the relentless proletarianization of Western publics by its insistence on radical equality, uniformity, moral equivalence, and the lowest common denominator in every aspect of life, including dress, but especially by its determination that citizens should not think for themselves but rather in imitation of the "role models" created for them by their governments, and according to the servile manner appropriate to slaves rather than the independent and deliberative one necessary to morally responsible citizens.
What I call "proletarianization" of sexuality and race, that is the way in which sexuality and race, in necessary articulation with each other, Korean ethno nationality, and trans-national racial hierarchy, becomes aspects of productive and socially reproductive labour that are constructed for specifically gendered, classed, ethnicized or racialised, and nationalised collectives in the trans-national context All the debates which are set against the well trodden line of analysis of South Korean economic development as an outcome of industrial/manufacturing labour engagement are reflected in the introduction.
I offer the fact of global proletarianization, which means that human beings have nothing to offer but their labor.
The proletarianization of university teaching, conducted by an increasing number of contract and sessional faculty (recently surpassing 70% in the US), and the concomitant pursuit of "world class" research by the institutional elite, is a disturbing trajectory.
One must remember that radical East European Jewish politics, nurtured wherever there were diasporic immigrant settlements, was historically conditioned by the disappointment Russian-Jewish intellectuals felt about the possibilities of integration into the Russian state and the proletarianization of the Jewish community in the rapidly industrializing Pale of Settlement in the late nineteenth century.
Focusing on the embryonic urban environment of Hamilton from 1840 to 1872, Kristofferson argues persuasively that the effects of early industrial capitalism among craftsworkers were largely positive, leading not to urban proletarianization, but to increased economic opportunity.