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Prelim Studying

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Amanda Wyant

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Prelim Studying

Neo-classical economists, behavioral economists, and economic sociologists offer distinct explanations for what caused the recent economic downturn (starting in late 2008) in the United States. First, select one of the two economic explanations (either neo-classical or behavioral), describe the key aspects of their explanations, and evaluate the empirical basis for their claims. Second, contrast the selected approach with a sociological approach, explaining what (if anything) sociology contributes to this debate. Specifically, describe two concepts or theories from economic sociology, discuss the empirical evidence for these phenomena, and explain how these insights might be used to better understand the economic downturn.
Neo-Classical Economists
Key Aspects:
focus on individual actors
actors are independent
rationality is stable, assumed, and time invariant
focus on prediction
focus on theorizing
focus on mathematical modeling
Behavior Economists
Key Aspects:
Economic Sociologists versus neoclassical economists
What do sociologists have to add?
Sociologists look at the market as an institution whereas economists look at it as price formation with models (Swedberg 2003)
Sociologists against behavior economists
Sociologists have long debated the role that culture plays in economic processes. To what extent does market exchange depend on shared cultural representations? How does culture influence economic processes across time and/or space? Provide examples from empirical research to support your answer. What are the broader implications of the cultural underpinnings of the economy for economic theory?
Shared cultural Representations
Culture influencing economic processes
What are the implications?
Economists have long debated the role that context plays in affecting market behavior. For example, while neo-classical economists (e.g., Milton Friedman) emphasize universal principles of market behavior, classical economists (e.g., Adam Smith) describe how distinct market “spaces” influence economic exchange. How does sociology inform this debate? Specifically, what do the concepts, theories, and empirical evidence from the new economic sociological literature tell us about the extent to which distinct social and institutional contexts influence market-based processes?
What is the informal economy and how is it conceptualized and operationalized in current research? What role does state intervention (or lack of intervention) play in constraining and/or facilitating informal economic activity? Use an example of a specific type of informal economic activity to highlight the major costs and benefits of the informal economy to society. Use findings from the research literature to support your answer.
What is the informal economy?
State intervention
Empirical Research
Slack (2007)
The informal economy is based on network ties of friendship, kinship, and community.
Also based on trust and norms, not just economic self-interest
This shows how personal relationships and networks are an integral part of the informal network.
One of the most commonly answered responsed by participants for why they took part in the informal economy "to help out neighbors and relatives," demonstrates the importances of social relationships.
This also demonstrates Polanyi's (2010) pattern of reciprocity, which occurs within kinship relationships.
Also found that hwen social networks were stronger, respondents were more likely to particpate in the informal economy.
Participation in the informal economy tended to reflect embedded relations rather than an individual's attempt to maximize their utility.
Kus (2010)
The economic view of markets has changed dramatically over time. For example, while neo-classical economists (e.g., Milton Friedman) emphasize universal principles of market behavior, classical economists (e.g., Adam Smith) described how distinct market “spaces” influence economic exchange. How does the new economic sociology inform this debate? More specifically, what do the concepts, theories, and empirical evidence from the new economic sociological literature tell us about the extent to which distinct social contexts influence market-based processes?
What is social capital? Discuss the merits of the various conceptualizations used by sociological theorists. How is social capital distinct from other forms of capital? What role does social capital play in markets? Be sure to draw from the empirical research literature in answering these questions.
The neo-liberalist approach to economic policy argues that an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone. Critique this approach using the theoretical concepts of economic sociology and empirical studies of markets and economic growth (note: do not give simplistic answers about inequality in the distribution of income or wealth). What is missing from the neo-liberalist approach to economic policy? How does economic sociology fill this gap?
What is “new” about the new economic sociology? To what extent does the new economic sociological approach enhance understanding of economic actors, institutions, and processes? Be sure to identify the major concepts in this debate and provide examples from the theoretical and empirical literature to support your argument.
What are the similarities and differences between the formal economy, the informal economy, and ethnic enclave economy? In answering this question, your essay should discuss the concepts of formal economy, informal economy, and ethnic economy and elaborate current research topics and trends. What do the concepts of formal, informal and ethnic economy tell us about the social mobility of immigrant groups (e.g., Cubans, Haitians) in the stratification structure of American society?
3. Embeddedness is a key concept in the new economic sociology. Develop a definition of the concept of embeddedness by reviewing its use by scholars in generating a sociological analysis of embeddedness and economic behavior (i.e., how has the embeddedness concept “improved” or “expanded” economic analyses of economic behavior)? Is all economic behavior socially embedded? If yes, is the embeddedness concept theoretically meaningful and empirically useful? If not, what factors govern the importance of social relations in shaping economic behavior? Assuming embeddedness to be meaningful and useful, how would you “measure” it and what kind of data (historical, quantitative, and/or qualitative) would you need to study it empirically? Be sure to cite and briefly explain the relevance of key theoretical and empirical works on embeddedness from the new economic sociology.
To what extent can informal economic activities substitute for formal economic activities during periods of economic decline? In other words, can families and households rely upon the informal economy to survive when jobs and income from the formal economy disappear? In developing your answer, be sure to compare and contrast the informal economy and the formal economy, including empirical studies of formal and informal economic behavior. Also, be sure to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the formal and informal economy and the mobility opportunities that each provides of individuals and households.
Some researchers have argued that all economic behavior is embedded in
social relations, while others contend that embeddedness is a variable
feature in markets, with some markets fully embedded while others are
completely disembedded. In your estimation, which view is most accurate
and why? Define the major theoretical conceptualizations of
embeddedness and discuss how the issue of variable embeddedness has
been addressed by other scholars. Draw from examples in the empirical
research literature to support your argument.
Economic sociologists have tended to rely on a set of assumptions and
methodological tools to describe economic processes that are distinct
from the standard assumptions and methodologies employed by most
mainstream economists. Describe one methodological tool and the
associated assumptions employed by economic sociologists (e.g., social
network analysis or comparative historical analysis). Use examples from
the empirical research literature to illustrate (1) how the sociological
approach differs from conventional analyses performed by economists
and (2) the relative strengths and weaknesses of the sociological
Social Network Analysis
Position generating methodology - sampling occupations, focus on occupation - accesses vertical reaches in social network (Lin 2007)
Weakness - thickness of contacts is probably under-represented
Strength- helps understand breadth
Name generator- identifies significant others in actor's personal networks (Lin 2007)
Weakness - Does not show missing information about range of respondent's contacts
Strength- helps probe depth of close ties
Historical Comparative Analysis
Empirical Examples of Social Network Analysis
McDonald (2010)-
What is social capital?
Family - uses Coleman
Social capital is time you invest, uses closure, trust
Critique: Definition too big, also no negative social capital involved, indicating that it is good for everyone
Human capital is embedded in social relationships (Coleman 1988)
Work and employment - uses Nan Lin and Burt
Community/Development - uses Putnam and Portes
Portes (2010) describes several types of informal economies
survival - subsistence production among poor groups
exploitative - off the books
growth production - accumulation of moeny and solidaristic relationships
Many paradoxes within the informal economy
viewed as pure market form
efforts to enforce become boundaries that are easier to go around
The more credible the state, the more erroneous the record keeping of the informal economy
Informal economy has positive outcomes for state
absorbs excess labor supply
cushions poor
lower consumption costs
sweatshop prices
protection for entrepreneurship
According to Portes (2010) when efforts to enforce become stronger, creates boundaries which are easier to go around, the more credible the state, the more erroneous the record keeping, there is also many positive outcomes for states with informal economies
What is social capital? Identify and describe three different ways in which social capital has been conceputalized. What insights do each of these three social capital theories offer for understanding the role of social relations in generating, sustaining, or ameliorating social inequality? Draw from the empirical research literature when possible.
Embeddedness is the core concept of the new economic sociology. But what is embeddedness and how is the embeddedness perspective distinct from the neo-classical economic understanding of markets? Using examples from the empirical literature, describe at least two different ways that markets might be embedded.
Political Embeddedness
Big hitters: Polanyi (1957), Evans (1989), Organizing America, Roy (2004), Yakubovich, Granovetter and McGuire (2005)
Empirical Examples
Gerber and Mayorova (2010)
Global Financial Crisis
1) What can sociologists contribute to an understanding of what brought about the Global
Financial Crisis (GFC) of the late 2000s? Briefly describe how neo-classical economists
(such as Eugene Fama) explain the GFC. Identify and define two concepts from
economic sociology and provide empirical examples from the research literature to
illustrate the concepts. Explain how the concepts you have chosen might be used to
develop a deeper understanding of the proximal and/or distal causes of the GFC.
Economic sociologists have long debated the role that culture plays in economic
processes. To what extent does market action depend on shared cultural representations?
How does culture influence economic processes? Provide examples of how cultural
representations of markets and/or commodities change over time. What are the broader
implications of the cultural underpinnings of the economy for economic theorizing?
Market actions rely on cultural representations
Cultural influences on economic
Changes over time
Zelizer (2002)
Fourcade (2011)
Organizational Embeddedness
Meyer and Rowan (1977)
DiMaggio and Powell (1983)
Uzzi (1996)
Hirsh (2009)
Historical Embeddedness
Neoclassical Economists Explanation of the GFC
Neo-classical economics comes from the previous study of classical economics, but was revamped in order to attempt to synthesize the macroeconomic perspective with the microeconomic perspective.
Two of the key figures within neo-classical economics are Milton Friedman and Eugene Fama
Friedman and Fama represent the University of Chicago which holds <<<<a specultative position>>>>>> about the government and governmental regulation (Cassidy 2010)
The efficient markets hypothesis, made popular by Eugene Fama, states that for <<<individual cases>>>, the stock price reflects the best approximation for the future earnings (Cassidy 2009??)
Also include Random Walk
Strong and weak form??
Real business cycles??
rational expectations??
Neo-classical economists' assumptions require a utopia in order to function.
How economists explain economic life implies <<<<<very strict>>>> surroundings, which many times do not occur
Many economists, especially neo-classical economists, would explain the GFC as stemming from the system of boom and <<<bust>>> cycles (Steve says this is not how they would describe it -- what creates the downturn??)
Neo-classical ecomists believe the crisis is part of the cycle and evenutally will lead back to a prosperous time.
This compares to skeptics of neo-classical economics who view the crisis as inherent within the system.
Fama explains that the markets failed because of the recession rather than a systematic problem (Cassidy 2009).
Sociologists aim at providing a better explanation of economic life, and how it functions in real-life situations, rather than ideal situations
Identify and define two concepts
Social networks - describe the relationship between people which can result in social closure or how opportunities become only available to those within the social network
Rent theory - aruges that the market equilibria does not reflect a natural state but is constructed (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011)
When an economic rent exists, it stems from the amont above what would occur in a perfectly competitive market (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011)
Empirical Examples
How they relate to the GFC
Social Networks
Social Networks
Hierarchical networks - where diverse contacts create through a central person (Burt 1998)
Entrepreneurial networks are self built and senior men benefits most from them (Burt 1998)
Network-based social closure - based on netowrk affiliation (McDonald and Day)
Social capital - resources accessible through netowkrs (Lin)
Rent Theory
Rent theory focuses on the political actions which assist in securing or stabilizing rents.
Economic rents represent the portion of money above what would be possible in a perfectly competitive market (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011).
Rent theory examines policy shifts, industrial changes, power, and exploitation (see Tilly 1998).
Rent theory research adds to the economic model the idea of power.
One assumption of rent theory - that income distributions are socially negotiated (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011) - differs from the assumption in economics that income distributions from natural phenomena.
The theories on free market do not provide an adequate picture of the current economic system since actors did the best for their own interests.
The economic model did not consider power and how unequal power relationships alter how economic exchanges appear.
Policy Shifts
First of all, policy shifts changed the system within the financial sector.
One of the most important political actions which changed the whole economy was deregulation.
Deregulation in the 1970s resulted in the ability to collect economic rents from society within the finacial sector.
This was especially important when thinking about unregulated financial instruments.
The most important instruments, which influenced the economy greater included second mortgages, home equity loans and most importantly subprime lending (Cassidy 2009)
The new financial instruments led to more investment occuring in the financial sector and also opened the pathyway for speculation to occur.
This led to increased risk due to market concentration and economies of scale (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011).
Risk also increased the new financial instrumetns since lenders had no standard for loan quality and it was of little importance if borrowers could pay back their loans (Cassidy 2009)
Industrial Changes
Industrial changed prove to be important
The economy shifted from an economy based on manufacturing toward on that relied heavily on the financial market.
A lot of investments went toward the financial market rather than other areas of the economy, which resulted in the financial sector having grnad importance compared to other markets.
This shift in the market structure also allowed for more-rent seeking behaviors in terms of investments.
Many actors, both within the financial sector an dthose who wanted to invest in the financial sector, had simliar goals in mind.
The goal both groups centered on was short-term profits rather than long term investments
This is demonstrated by the length of investmetns which averaged around five years in length in 1980 to only one year in length in 2002 (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011).
Not only did this strengthen the financial sector, it weakened other sectors which could be invested in and the economy in general.
Investments in the financial industry did not lead to production of anything, only accumulation of more money.
Power becomes an important element in rent theory.
This can be seen with the relationship between financial sector actors and politians
Power can also be seen through how it flows through networks, and excludes others out of the networks.
In addition to networks providing power, the financial sector in general demonstrates power.
Those who attempted to obtain sub-prime loans included many disadvantaged people and financial market actors took advantage of the situation in order to make money.
Many banks began th egoal of lending to securitize to make a profit of risk rather than securitize in order to loan (Cassidy 2009).
Exploitation focuses on how powerful people utilize their resources in addition to the labor of others for increased returns.
This relates more to the idea of rent seeking.
The large increase in wages for the financial sector began being normal, but then jumped to 60 percent higher than the rest of the economy (Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011).
The jump in wages demonstrates how the financial industry made signficant gains from rent-seeking.
A direct example of exploitation and rent-seeking is how wages of executive pay have signficantly increased over the last decade or so (DiPrete, Eirich and Pittinsky; Tomaskovic-Devey and Lin 2011).
Corporate governance and rent-seeking have a reciporcal relationship with one another (DiPrete, Eirich, and Pittinsky 2010).
As corporate governance decreases, rent seeking becomes more likely, and in return, rent seeking decreases the amount of corporate governance.
Not only did wages increase signficantly due to corporate governance becoming lax, incentives ran extremely high prior to the market crash.
Incetives only provided high returns with a combination of low risks, which promoted risky behavior (Cassidy 2009)
Corporate Malfeasance/Governance
Baker and Faulkner (1993)
Robert Tillman (2009)
Davis (2003)
Work and Industry
Inequality in Work
Explain Tilly’s theory of durable inequality and relate it to the readings on workplace gender assigned for this class. Be certain to think broadly – addressing theory and empirical research related to the influence of gender and job access, job quality, job compensation, and what happens on the job, including interactions. What aspects of what we have learned about gender inequality fall outside the bounds of – or are inadequately addressed in – Tilly’s framework? How might his theory be extended to incorporate those insights?
Durable Inequality
Ideal Worker
Who is the ideal worker in the eyes of management, and how does this notion relate to inequality across gender, spatial, nativity and race/ethnic lines, and by types of work? Do your best to address employer perspectives with respect to intersecting inequalities (for example, immigrant ethnic minority females on this side of the U.S. border).
Review what the literature contributes to our understanding spatial inequality and network processes and their impacts on workplace inequality (especially job attainment and job quality) across lines of race/ethnicity and nativity. Do your best to address intersecting inequalities across gender, spatial, nativity and race/ethnic lines (see question B1 in this regard).
Precarious Work

Researchers (e.g., Kalleberg) have documented the increasing precariousness of employment in the 21st century. This increased precariousness has been discussed within the context of rising economic inequality in the United States. How are these two trends linked to one another? Identify three processes underlying the increased precariousness of employment and explain precisely how they have contributed to gender, race, and/or class inequality in economic returns in the U.S. Be sure to draw on examples from the theoretical and empirical literature to support your answer
Compare the relative utilities of human capital (conceived of as all worker attributes that contribute to productivity), social capital, and cultural capital for explaining earnings and promotion inequality in the U.S. Does your answer differ for blacks and whites or for men and women? (Pick either race or gender to address.) Support your answer with specific work in the relevant literature.
Two prominent explanations for persistent race inequality in economic rewards include discrimination and social networks. First, describe and evaluate the theoretical claims for how these two processes result in differential allocation of economic rewards. Second, do these processes operate independently or interdependently? Rely on specific examples from empirical research to support your answer.

Explain how labor market, hiring, and workplace processes influence inequality in employment outcomes along two of the following three dimensions:
a) race
b) gender
c) class
For the two dimensions you have chosen, do you maintain that the processes by which inequality is produced and reproduced are fundamentally the same as or fundamentally different from one another? Justify your position through reference to specific studies.

How are organizations gendered? Are some organizations more or less gendered than others? Explain your answers. Compare and contrast theoretical and empirical studies of the role of gender within organizations and the way(s) in which gender is built into the fundamental structures and processes of organizations.
Explain what Braverman argued with respect to control of work and worker outcomes and then discuss how understandings of worker control, and its impacts on workers, has changed over time. Finally, elaborate on where you think understandings of control and its impacts on worker should go in the future. In your answer, be sure to address shifts in control techniques used by employers (or recognized by sociologists), changes in the types of worker outcomes considered, and differences observed in studies of manual work, service work, and the professions, citing empirical work throughout.
Labor process theory focuses on management’s control of workers. Briefly lay out the main argument of this approach in its foundational works (i.e., Marx, Braverman, Burawoy). To what extent and how have scholarly considerations of recent changes in two of the following concepts changed labor process theory? Use specific examples from the more recent literature to support your answer.
• Technology
• Globalization
• Workplace cultures
• Workplace teams
Benchmark labor process studies emphasized change in manual and mostly male settings (e.g., Blauner, Burawoy, Edwards, research on team-based production). How have these studies described and explained the changing nature of control and shifts in worker well-being in those environments? What has subsequent research revealed about control, shifts in control, and worker well-being in different settings, especially service work, the professions, and predominantly female work groups? In your answer, be careful to address variations in control as well as worker well-being, including aspects of the work experience emphasized in research on different types of work.
How has labor process theory changed from the foundational works of Marx, Braverman, and Burawoy? And what has it retained? Do you consider the changes to have fundamentally altered the theory from its foundations? Explain your position with reference to more recent works in this tradition.
According to the affluent worker hypothesis, stable incomes and benefits given to manufacturing workers resulted in a decline in worker militancy and mobilization. The current restructuring of the global economy has resulted in unemployment, loss of benefits, and increased labor market competition. Might one expect an increase in worker militancy and mobilization? Why or why not? In your answer, address theoretical arguments and empirical research regarding relationships among structural changes in the organization of the economy and worker militancy and mobilization.
Traditional theories of worker organization, mobilization, and revolt were built using the ideal of a full-time, male, factory worker. Now, the workforce is very different: it is segmented by race, gender, and sector and has undergone waves of restructuring, informalization, and outsourcing. Are the traditional theories of work organization, mobilization, and revolt outdated and obsolete? Explain your answer, citing appropriate theoretical critiques and empirical analyses. How would you update, change, or replace the traditional theories? Again, explain your answer.
There is a long sociological tradition of studying the experience of work (alienation; dignity) and a contemporary sociological tradition of studying how employers control their workers. Using key theoretical and empirical works, explain how sociological understandings of these issues have developed and changed over time, and relate these approaches to Marxist, Weberian, and Durkheimian theory about work and society. Where do you see sociology going in the future with respect to understanding the work experience and worker control, and why?
Traditional theories of worker organization, mobilization, and revolt were built using the ideal of a full-time, male, factory worker. Now, the workforce is very different: it is segmented by race, gender, and sector and has undergone waves of restructuring, informalization, and outsourcing. Briefly state the key traditional theories of work organization, mobilization, and revolt. At greater length, discuss whether these traditional theories are outdated and obsolete? Explain your answer, citing appropriate theoretical critiques and empirical analyses. How, if at all, would you update, change, or replace the traditional theories? Again, explain your answer.
Labor process characteristics in the advanced capitalist societies appear to change over time and to differ across economic sectors. What are the most important dimensions of such variation (important theoretically and in their consequences for owners, managers, and workers)? Would you argue that this variation is or is not substantively significant compared to the stable and constant tendencies of industrial capitalism? Justify your claims by using the theoretical and empirical literature.
Period of Exploration
Workers controlled skills and knowledge (Gordon, Edwards, and Reich 1982)
Taylorism (Scientific Management)
Deskilling occurred which focused on dividing jobs out into individual sections in order to control the process and isolate the worker from fellow workers
Aimed at increase in production
Took away the knoweldge and ability for workers to determine how to perform work
Work should be scientifically calculated to determine what would be the fastest most productive way to perform a tax
Human Relations School
focused on social aspects of work, including receiving attention and allowing for sense of control
Decision making school
Similiar to the human relations school and allows workers to have a particular set of choices -- explain more
Participation and Management
Worker control hidden behind shared norms
A. Obtrusive Control
unskilled workers are more likely to be controlled through direct supervision and obtrusive control (Gordon, Edwards and Reich 1982)
women more likely to be in unskilled workers (Steinberg 1990; Vallas 1990)
workers are motivated by monetary incentives and mangement needs to explictly tell them how to perform every function.
Managers should calculate the most efficient way to perform tasks and supervise workers closely (Taylor 1947)
A downside is that that workers are more aware of the conflict with management and are more likely to demonstrate means of resistance (Perrow 1986)
Craft workers resisted abusive form of management by strikes and slow downs.
Unskilled workers were less successful because they are more expendable than skilled workers (Jacoby 1985)
Unskilled and craft workers are still known to use informal menas of resistance to resist against direct control from management (Hodson 2001)
Workers in periphery markets are more likely to be exposed to obtrusive control, rather than workers in core sectors who are controlled through more unobtrusive practices (Gordon, Reich and Edwards 1982)
B. Bureaucratic Control
Bureaucratic control is more effective because workers are controlled by rules and regulations which are harder for workers to resist than direct control measures (Perrow 1986; Edwards 1979)
Mayo (1933) introduced the idea of controlling workers through means beyond monetary gains. His research on the Hawthorne experiment led him to believe that if workers felt that their input was valued that they would harder. -- known as the human relationship perspective
May did not suggest improving working conditions, but make them believe they had a choice in the matter
Workers are triapped becuase management presented the rules as if they stemmed from a worker driven initiative (Bruce and Nyland 2011)
Foreman had to use tablets, which would require more work in additional to another way of supervising -- rather than demanding the use, management manipulated a survey making it appear that most foremen wer ein support of the tablets (Leclerq-Vandelannoittee 2011)
Also important!!!! Internal hiearchy and lateral divisions of jobs
Under bureaucratic control, management did not seem responsible for enforcing certain rules but seemed to stem from organizational power
Unobtrusive Controls
skilled workers more likely to be controlled by unobtrusive controls
Unotrsuive control is the most difficult form of control to achieve but also the most efficient (Perrow 1984)
Workers are made to feel as if they are making decisions rather than having their labor processes dictated to them by management
Can include team and family oriented organizational cultures
Barker describes coercive control - where wokrers in a small computer parts manufuacting company experience a flattening hiearchy and switched from direct supervision to peer management groups (Barker 1993)
Corporate culture - workers become indoctrined into the belief that they are workers if highly motivated and self-exploiting (Kunda 2006)
Workers have no choice to remain in stressful white collar jobs where they self-exploit and prove ability to self-monitor work (Fraser 2001)
Braverman (1974)
"what is unique about control of workers under capitalism is the division of labor within an enterprise, causing workers to become detailed and unskilled workers."
"No worker would willingly become a lifelong detailed worker, but workers must sell labor as a commodity.
Capitalists benefit by dividing labor into its simplest elements because it cheapens labor by paying a lower rate for less complicated tasks
Workers become alienated from their work
Braverman explains that scientific mangagement is root to all forms of managerial stategies of worker control
According to Braverman
workers are gathered in a workshop, capitalist decide the length of day, having supervised working conditions, distractions eliminated by being forced to produce a certain amount of product in a day's work.
What causes shifts in managerial control?
Influenced by economic, social, and political changes in society (Gordon, Edwards, and Reich 1982)
Barley and Kunda (1992) show how shifts in managerial control under capitalism have not occured in a linear fashion but have switched between normative control in which less obtrsive measures are used to control workers and rational control, which presents workers as more strictly monetary driven.
Forms of control are not mutually exclusive
C. Normative Control
Currently in a period of normative control, in which organizations use team and cultural based strategies to control workers (Barely and Kunda 1992)
Engineering Culture (Kunda 1992) would also fit into this normative control -- internalizing organization's goals and values.
Normative or concertive control comes about from governance based on shared consensus and values of workers (Barker 1993).
An example of this happening is within teams (Barker 1993)
Empirical Examples
Maquiladora factory in Mexico discovered that female workers were exposed to working conditions that consisted of repetitive deskilled tasks, high levels of supervision, and incredibly low wages (Wright 2001)
Women were almost entirely excluded from supervisory position, which speaks to how women are more likely to face obtrusive control because they are deemed unskilled (Steinberg 1990; Vallas 1990)
Service Sector - individuals are told how to perform a day's work leaving no control over how to perform a task, making them unskilled workers (Leidner 1993)
Professionals - Crowley, Tope, Chamberlain and Hodson (2010)
Butchers are now less skilled becuase they no longer cut the hwole animal making them detailed workers (Walsh 1989)
Dignity at work/Alienation
obtrusive control -- with direct supervision and removal of skills makes workers experience high levels of alienation (Marxy 1964)
In a meat cutting factory there is a high level of alienation and workers are reduced to extensions of machines (Thompson 1983)
Hochschild (1983) - controls emotional well- being
flight attendants appear to be working under scientific management since they no longer make decisions on interacting with customers
forced to sell emotions as a commodity to capitalists
Female professors may also feel a similar experience because expected to provide emotional labor
Shifts from vertical?? to lateral conflict
Under obtrusive control workers were more likely to direct confrontation and resistance toward management
unobtrusive control - used as a way to manipulate workers into decreasing resistance to organizational goals (Jacoby 1985; Perrow 1984)
shift from direct supervision to team based production and working strategies increased horizontal rather than lateral control.
Buroway (1979) found when workers had to rely on each other for specific parts of the production process, they became frustrated with one another for slowing down their work process, rather than pointing their frustration towards the management for not providing enough workers to perform the necessary tasks.
Panopticon - when workers are asked to work in teams in professions, they begin to hold each other accountable for organizational goals, rather than mangement needing to use force to keep workers responsible for organizational goals (Baker 1993; Sewell and Wilkinson 1992; Casey 1999)
Team based production increases horizontal conflict, but it also increases the amount of surveillance placed upon each worker because their work is being monitored by their peers as well as management (Sewell and Wilkinson 1992)
This can lead to extreme emotional exhaustion, burn out, and detrimental problems for workers in their home life (Fraser 2001; Kunda 2006)
Because workers feel an obligation to the organization, they are less likely to resist the modes of control, but instead reinforce the modes of control upon themselves.
Foundation of Labor Process Theory
Workplace Cultures
Workplace teams
Processes leading to precariousness
From Paper
The economy has changed the permanency of jobs and careers.
More work nonstandard compared to standard employment (Kalleberg 2009)
Non standard work situations appeal to employers because they can easily change their workforce and do not have to cover benefits.
This began in the manufacturing sector but has moved to other sectors, including white collar employment.
Nonstandard workers are responsible for their own needs (fringe benefits) including health care, retirement and job security while also having more duties at work
Duties from work come from a flattened hiearchy where rather than responsibilities being held by managers, responsibilities are dispersed throughout the workers.
Precarious Work
Kalleberg (2009) defines precarious work as work that is uncertain and risky.
Kalleberg (2003) describes standard work arrangements compared to nonstandard.
Standard work indicate regularly attended full time jobs with one employer.
Nonstandard work includes less table employment opportunities such as temporary work and contractors.
In 1995, about 10 percent of the labor force was part of nonstandard employment (Cohany 1996).
The temporary labor force in 2007 was at 11 million workers (Berchem 2008).
Temporary workers are those who are hired for undetermined but short periods of time and recieve a lot of supervision whereas contract workers sign organizational agreements and are not as closely monitored (Davis-Blake, Broschak, and George 2003)
Although many nonstandard jobs tend to be associated with characteristics of a "bad job" (Kalleberg, Reskin, and Hudson 2000), contract based work does not fit into this category.
This may be due to the fact that although contractors do not ear benefits typically, they do earn higher wages compared to standard employees.
Precarious Work and the Global Economy
There are several reasons historically why precarious work increased.
One reason is the decrease of unionism and deregulation, especially in the 1980s (Kalleberg 2009)
Global competition caused firms to lower costs and change according to market conditions (Matusik and Hill 1998) which has led to the increase of temporary workers (Smith 2001)
First, manufacturing shifted into more flexible production practices such as lean production with a focus on producing only what was already purchased, outsourcing, and using a nonstandard workforce - which eventually flowed into other parts of the economy (Kalleberg 2009; Smith 1997).
As the manufacturing industry declined, a bifurcation of the labor pool occured, creating the core and periphery sectors (Kalleberg 2009).
Prior to 1970, contingent or precarious jobs were only within the secondary or periphery labor market but filtered into other types of jobs (Kalleberg 2009).
As a result of changes in competition, corporate restructuring led to many unemployed professions (Smith 2001) which benefits employers to have a suprlus of employees.
Employers used layoffs as a way to help reduce labor costs (Kalleberg 2009) and created the possibility of hiring nonstandard workers to fill those positions.
Types of Flexibility
Flexible workers face more risks and the possibility of over exploitation (Fraser 2001)
Numerical flexibility - provides organizations the ability to adapt to changes in demand by utilizing workers who are not full time and are easily hired or fired (Kalleberg 2003; Smith 2001)
examples include hiring workers from temporary agencies or contracting people
used for budget uncertainty and special tasks completed infrequently
Empirical Examples: Information technology sector
employers have converted permanent jobs to temporary jobs and use temporary workers in that manner (Smith 1998).
corporations create a new type of employment referred to as "permatemps" where temporary work is repeated constantly to the employer's benefit so that they will not have to pay benefits (Barley and Kunda 2004; Fraser 2001)
Loyalty improtant because no contract between workers and employers.
A portion of workers are movitated by the idea of becoming full time employees (Fraser 2001).
Dedication to a job is also improtant to maintain a reputation, especially if you are a contractor (Padavic 2005)
Functional flexibility- a subsection of organizatinoal flexibility, focuses on the adaptable aspects of employees.
need to be able to adapt to rapid changes within jobs (Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin 2005; Smith 2001)
adaptability requires the ability to work autonomously while at the same time managing uncertainty, especially for contract workers (Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin 2005)
This type of flexibility allows employers to move workers from one task to another (Kalleberg 2003)
Tasks previuosly done by several employees become the responsibility of a single employee, even if they vary greatly.
Functional flexibility also occurs when permanent workers are required to float around different offices (Smith 1994)
Spread of Managerial Responsibilities
The spread of management responsibilities is one way for functional flexibility to occur.
"Demanagerialization" may occur where companies, wishing to incorporate more flexible labor processes create flexible decision-making (Smith 1994)
Corporations remove middle managers in order to reduce costs and increase flexibility (Smith 1990)
Demanagerialization leads to lower level workers having mroe responsibility in decision-making and self-management without any compensation in job title, salary or benefits (Smith 1997)
Organization becomes decentralized and allows for a way to incorporate a contingent workforce (Smith 1994).
Additionally, participative management provides a way for functional flexibility to occur. Workers use their own information and experiences to make decision and solve problems and can involve teams or work groups (Smith 1997)
Contracting Professionals
Why do people go to temporary work?
Workers look for temporary work to fill the time until permanent employment becomes a possibility (Kunda, Barley and Evans 2002)
People also tend to go into contracting if they know someone (Kunda, Barley and Evans 2002)
New "values"
Flexixibility become a valued norm, now incorporated into workplace especially to liberal arts graduates (Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin 2005)
Kalleberg (2009) would argue many of these jobs precarious, others claim this type of work differs from nonstandard because of higher education, more money, and prestige (Neff, Wissinger, and Zukin 2005).
Less stressful for workers who can move quickly between projects (Padavic 2005).
Free agents (Barley and Kunda 2004; Kanter 1995)
More individaulsit rather than paternalistic rlations at work (Barley and Kunda 2004)
Entrepreneurial Sense of Ownership
Contracted workers feel a desire to gain entrepreneurial sense of worth through contracting; gaining independent, autonomy, and are better compensated compared to permanent employees.
Wish to achieve more autonomy in work, wish to develop and update skills, and want variety (Kunda, Barley, and Evans 2002).
Additional Benefits to nonstandard workers
Wages - contracted workers/temporary earn higher wages (Barley and Kunda 2004; Kalleberg 2003; Kunda, Barley and Evans 2002).
Nonstandard workers can also gain befentis such as undesirable work environments such as politics, incomptence of managers, and working overtime (Kunda, Barley and Evans 2002).
How do employers benefit?
Employers find temporary or contract workers to be cheaper
reduces wages, benefits, better able to exploit periphery workers whil giving surplus to core workers (Abraham and Taylor 1996; Barley and Kunda 2004; Fraser 2001; Houseman 2001)
Core workers benefit since fluctauations within demand do not affect the amount of hours or days they are required to work (Matusik and HIll 1998; Smith 1997).
Work tasks change rapidly
Tasks may be inconsistent (Abraham and Taylor 1996) such as accounting services
Economies of scale are important -- specialization
Firms contract to fulfill the need (Abraham and Taylor 1996; Houseman 2001).
Take advantage of low cots that come with high amounts of specialization
Contractors disseminate specialized knowledge (Barley and Kunda 2004; Matusik and HIll 1998).
skills change frequently or something else.
replace in the vent of vaction or sickness (Houseman 2001)
Used as screening workers (Barley and Kunda 2004; Kunda, Barley and Evans 2002).
Training costsw absorbed by contractor themselves of a previous employer (Matusik and Hill 1998).
Classification also important
under fixed costs rather than variable costs which inflates firms' stock price (Barley and Kunda 2004; Fraser 2001).
Prioritize profits rather than worker well being (Crowley, Tope, Chamberlain and Hodson 2010).
Emotional Work versus Emotional Labor
Emotional Labor - changing and demonstrating a certain type of emotion for others' benefit which is sold and has exchange value (Hochschild 1983)
Gift exchange- when feelings are exchanged or not exchanged as a way to relate with others (Hochschild 1983)
Transmutation - the link between a private act of emotion and a public act of emotion (Hochshild)
Women complete more emotion work
Women are at the bottom of the gender hiearchy and must perform emotional labor more often than men because they have less access to money, power, authority,or status (Hochschild 1983)
Women manage emotion more than men - socialization of young girls (Hochschild 1983)
Often described as an "inherent part of a women, rather than an act (Hochschild 1983)
Hidden injuiries of gender due to women more often being in the low-status servus jobs (Hochschild 1983)
Women take advantage of feminine qualitites to imporve position due to lack of power -- motherhood and sexualities (Hochschild 1983)
Paralegals are women will exhibit deference and caretaking (Pierce 1995).
Attorneys pay attention to personality when hiring parlegals becuase of emotion labor -- emotional labor remains invisible in job describtions, but is important for evaluations (Pierce 1995)
Involves gender specific soft skills (Moss and Tilly 1991)
Lecturers in UK Universities may create emotion labor to form a distinct teaching personality which differs from their actual one (Ogbonna and Harris 2004).
Professors are socialized within the occupation and organization to follow certain emotional codes and are evaluated poorly when they do not comply with the expected level of emotional labor. (Bellas 1999)
Female professors spend more time with teaching and service work, which requires higher levels of emotional labor than committee work, research and adminstration and consequently the emotional work is not as highly compensated. (Bellas 1999)
Less financial compensation is given to tasks that require more emotional labor (Bellas 1999)
Female professors are more likely to be evalued based on their personalities (Bellas 1999)
Labor process does not address role of service recipient and we have to include it better to understand the dynamics of interactive service work (Leidner 1993).
In this study, routinization refers to a specific routine, done the same way, segmented and deskilled (Leidner 1993)
At McDonald's the workers no longer have to think about how they are preparing food becuase machines do it or singals inform workers how to complete the work.
Training includes standardizing working attitutdes to help control workers and their responses to customers.
Workers feel angst toward service-recipients who do not follow the script.
For Love and Gold
Shifts in control with female groups
Rosen (2002)
Traditional Theories
Blauner (1964)
people feel alienation based on meaning workers contribute to process
other indicators - meaningless, isolation, self-estrangement, and powerlessness
Technology is major catalyst in alienation
Blauner used the 1947 job attitude survey on four industries
Burawoy (1979)
Cohesion decreases as workers move around the factory
"The more a worker is promoted, the less stable, trusting, and mutually-reinforcing relationships with fellow workers are."
Edwards (1979)
Mills 2003
Raynolds 2001
Women are divided in the Tortilla factor based on skin color, class and education (Munoz 2008)
Use of undocumented status as a form of worker control (Munoz 2008)
Corporations will use migrants over women becuase they are more vulnerable (Mills 2003)
Social Construction of Skill
Women's employment usually considered less skilled and receive less compensation (Steinberg 1990)
Queuing Theory - Gender
Reskin 1991
In a study of pineapple plantations, women were attractive sources of labor when men had opportunities, but were pushed out when men did not have other alternatives (Raynolds 2001)
Polanyi (2010)
Markets are not only way goods trade hands
Formal meaning of economic life
logical way we make decisions (economic model)
Substantive meaning of economic life
reliance on nature and other individuals
does not imply scarcity or choice
Reciprocity - movement of goods between symmetric actors
Redistribution - allocatative body collect and pass back resources
Exchange - movement of good between people under market
Granovetter (1985)
How individual behavior and institutions should be analyzed with constraints of social relationships in mind
Granovetter critiques economist point of view as being atomized and undersocialized
Models do not include social relationships between actors but treat them as an external force, uninvolved in the economic process
Both individuals and firms are connected through personal relationships.
trust is created through relationships and acts as a mediator as to why peopel are more or less likely to commit acts of malfeasance
Firms will repeat transactions with a supplier if they believe that a firm is trustworthy and familiar. Although referrals can be beneficial, the most concrete form of trust is personal history between a firm and supplier
Zukin and DiMaggio (1990)
discusses four types of embeddedness, which constrain actors in varios ways
cognitive embeddedness - people do not have synoptic rationality - which neoclassical economic model claims necessary in order to make rational decisions
cultural embeddedness - individuals share a collective understand
political embeddedness - power struggle between economic and political actors
structural embeddedness - demonstrates how social relationships constrain actors within the structure, which shape the markets and reflects Granovetter's (1985) explanation of embeddedness and the use of social networks in analyses
Neoclassical model
assumptions required
isolate actors from social environments to make a more efficient model
actors are atomistic "assumes isolated self interested actors without governance to police exchange" (Krippner and Alvarez 2007)
actors have complete information and access to this information is freely available (Zukin and DiMaggio 1990; Becker 2003; Smelser and Swedberg 2005)
Actors have a set of preferences, or utility functions, which are given and stable, which they use to maximize their outcome (Zukin and DiMaggio 1990; Beckert 2003; Smelser and Swedberg 2005).
Rational actors also attempt to make decisions based on the idea that they are confied by limtied resources (Polanyi 2010)
The neoclassical model is also ahistorical (Smelser and Swedberg 2005), which does not account for historical or cultural influences.
Power is also ignored in teh neoclassical mdoel (Smelser and Swedberg 2005)
Creates externalities
Old economic sociology focused on individuals still, which oversocialiezed individuals (Krippner and Alvarez 2007)
Focus on interconnectedness of people
Empirical Evidence
Markets can be embedded through social networks, organizational actions, and the informal economy.
Burt (1998) - use of networks is necessary for movements within the organization
Women and young men's promotions into higher ranked positions are slowed due to their structural position wtihin the network and view of being outsiders.
If purely economic processes were at play, a significant relationship would not have occured between promotions and gender, since it would have been based on rational-decision making.
Granovetter (1985) and Zukin and DiMaggio (1990) would say that structural embeddedness, especially trust which flows through either social relations or repeated interactions, limited both women and young men due to their outsider status.
The embedded network only permitted men and women to move up when they had access to a structural hole, which connects the outsiders to a contact that they would not have access to otherwise.
All actors used their networks in an attempt to be promoted but acribed characteristics determined not only success in the firm but success in the network.
Elliot and Smith (2001)
Organizational Embeddedness
Institutional Embeddedness
Roy (2004)
Cognitive patterns (Massey; Tilly; Stainback, TD, Skaggs)
Statistical discrimination (perceived sex differences)
Formal structures (Stainback, TD, Skaggs)
External (Tilly; Stainback, TD, Skaggs)
Reskin - mechanisms
Reskin (1991) labor marekts as queues - if hiring men is profitable, why change?
men abandon female dominated jobs
Organizations Gendered
Organizations not gender neutral (McGuire 2002; Acker 1990)
Networks Gendered (McGuire 2002)
Organizational context - individual firms hired on sex exclusively (Bielby and Baron 1986)
men and women segregated by job title (Bielby and Baron 1986)
explained by statistical discrimination (Bielby and Baron 1986)
Everyday interactions (Ridgeway 1997)
Empirical Examples of Precarious Work
Stofferahn 2000
quantitative measure of rural underemployment to individuals' subjective interpretation of situations
certain people go into certain housing (Wilson 1996; Massey 2007)
exodus of those who can leave (Wilson 1996)
socially isolated (Kasnitiz and Rosenberg 1996; Massey 2007)
Preconceptions of skill based on neighborhood (Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991)
space and race as job queues (Wilson 1996)
address discrimination (Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991)
Scared of theft (Kasnitz and Rosenberg 1996)
statistical discrimination (Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991)
excluded from work in the suburbs (Wilson 1996; Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991)
Divergence from economy
deliquency and violence - economy (Massey 2007)
cope through subcultures (Massey 2007; Wilson 1996)
informal economy - weakness attachedmens to labor force (Wilson 1996)
children not prepared to go into the labor force (Wilson 1996)
RURAL - lack of jobs available do not make enough money (Tickameyer 1992)
Rely on informal services to help (Slack 2007)
Spatial and Network Processes
Violence prevents the development of strong networks (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996)
Friends and neighbors being jobless - cannot assist friends (Wilson 1996)
Inner city and ghetto areas - lack weak ties (Kasnitz and Rosenberg 1996; Wilson 1996)
Isolation - no information (Kasnitz and Rosenberg 1996)
Networks disappear when residents do to have jobs (Wilson 1996)
networks which do exist do not provide a lot of job information (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996)
Serves as a mean of survival (Massey 2007)
Provides emotional support and rewards (Massy 2008)
People unware of job openings (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996)
Lack networks to teach soft skills (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996)
Soft skills -- personality, attitude and behavior (Moss and Tilly 1996)
Social netowrks - direct sponsorship from current to potential employees (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996; Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
Also provides positive role models (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996; Wilson 1996)
Mentors in area of Red Hook, called "Old Heads", are more limited in their ability to assist youth through sponorship due to own lack fo employment in blue-collar professionas and also because of their fear of young people (Kasinitiz and Rosenberg 1996)
Gender essentialism - the belief that men and women are "naturally suited" to different sorts of tasks and responsibilities with women presumed to better tasks involving nurturing and social exchange (Massey 2007)
rationalized hiring immigrant women as being dexterous and patient (Hossfield 1990).
Massey (2007) also talks about 21st century gender stratification.
Men and women are funneled into specific jobs and occupations in order to reduce costs and training (1986)
Networks and Ascribed Characteristics
Royster - white students had more success using informal means whereas black students had to go through formal routes
black students used informal networks - family members/women with limited knowledge
white students found better jobs
black students found less desirable jobs unrelated to training
white students could use white male teachers as brokers
contacts who assisted black students requested that students not associate with them on applications during interviews (Royster 2003)
sometimes people are afraid of referring "bad workers" and don't want them to put their name on it (Smith 2005)
Company preferred members from same families becuase supportive and less financial strain (Hossfeld 1990)
networks - provide opportunities to in group members (Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
Women excluded - jobs insecure and diminish importance (Raynolds)
Hinders diversity (Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
Homosocial reproduction may occur (Kanter 1977)
Positive discrimination - reliability through personal referral whole populations of ethnicity (Kasnitiz and Rosenberg 1996)
Employers may like the current workforce and want to continue it (Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991; Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996; Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
homogenous - good relations (Kirshenman and Neckerman 1991; Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
How networks benefit
Employers like family members -support and less financial strain (Hossfeld 1990)
Migrants - use networks for formal economy - better earnings (Massey 2008)
Homosocial reproduction
Workers may feel unequal relationships, especially if illegal and the potential of calling immigration authorities exists (Hondagneu-Sotelo 2002)
Illegality of migrants leads to the possibility of greater exploitation (Massey 2007)
Immigrant Networks
Immigrant network creates interdependency between new and old immgirants - assists the old migrant in controlling the behavior of the new immigrant if they can obtain a job (Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
Space and other ascribed characteristics
Employers hired black women from the subrb since they had a more positive connotation than black women from the inner-city (Kirschenman and Neckerman 1991)
Women from low income areas have an easier time finding jobs in comparison to men (Kasinitz and Rosenberg 1996).
In highly segregated cities, those who are black and also are either poor, jobless males, or female-headed households, experience greater isolation from other groups (Krivo et al. 1998)
Decrease in unionization
Unionization occurred on a firm-by firm basis rather than across industries (Massey 2007)
Unionization became difficult and falling levels of unionization affected workers directly with lower wages (Massey 2007)
1947 Taft-Hartley Act - led to more states working on the right-to-work and move places to the south (Rosen 2002)
took increasing tool on labor market (Massey 2007)
What Employers Want
Immigrants from poor places are willing to work as suboridnates (Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
assume migrants will work harder and take orders better than natives (Waldinger and Lichter 2003)
How valuation explains global financial crisis
Increase in financialization
Switching from pensions to 401 ks really fed the financialization increase (Davis 2009)
Empirical example: Fourcade 2011
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