Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia


Edited by: Vicki Smith

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      About the Editor

      Vicki Smith is professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis. She received her B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987. Smith has spent her entire academic career researching and writing about work. For her first major research project, her dissertation, she analyzed the transformation of middle management at the Bank of America, at the time (mid-1980s) the most powerful bank in the world. Interested in middle managers' labor process, Smith looked at how managers' experiences varied by organizational context and how their perceptions were conditioned by moving from the stable employment and organizational conditions of the postwar era, to the turbulent and unpredictable conditions of the late 20th century. The book that resulted from this project—Managing in the Corporate Interest: Control and Resistance in an American Bank(1990)—stands as one of the few on-the-ground field studies of the corporate restructuring processes that have swept through the American economy over the last 30 years.

      Smith followed up by conducting research on how other groups of American workers were affected by corporate restructuring, including the spread of subcontracting and outsourcing, the increased use of temporary workers, and the erosion of the stable employment contract. Her case study analyses of workers in three diverse industrial/work settings, along with a group of unemployed professional workers, was published in Crossing the Great Divide: Worker Risk and Opportunity in the New Economy(2001), a book that has shaped the debate over how jobs and employment relations have changed with respect to implications for American workers. It was awarded the 2002 Distinguished Publication Award by the Labor Studies Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

      With Esther Neuwirth, Smith co-authored The Good Temp(2008), a study of the historical marketing of the idea of good temporary workers, and of the ways in which temporary help agencies endeavor to produce reliable and high-quality temporary employees. She has published a host of articles on work and employment in Social Problems, Work and Occupations, and Human Relations, and in various edited volumes. She edited a special issue of Research in the Sociology of Work on worker participation, co-edited a special issue of Human Relations on workers, risk, and the new economy, and is co-editing a special issue of Academy of Management Review on theories of work and working. Before attending graduate school, Smith held many different types of jobs, including working full-time as a bagel roller and baker (and manager) for several years, and part-time as a waitress, short-order cook, dishwasher, housecleaner, hotel maid, deli worker, office assistant, retail sales person, childcare worker, home health care worker, library staff person, and assorted other positions.

      List of Contributors

      Karin Abel

      Utah State University

      Randall Adams

      LaGrange College

      Tracey L. Adams

      University of Western Ontario

      Sophia D. Addy

      Columbia University

      Sharla N. Alegria

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Lydia Aletraris

      University of Georgia

      Jake Alimahomed-Wilson

      California State University, Long Beach

      Renee Skeete Alston

      Georgia State University

      Michel Anteby

      Harvard Business School

      Lauren D. Appelbaum

      University of California, Los Angeles

      Amy Armenia

      Randolph-Macon College

      Dustin Avent-Holt

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Dianne Avery

      State University of New York, Buffalo

      Chardie Baird

      Kansas State University

      Chris Baldry

      University of Stirling

      Kirstie S. Ball

      Open University

      Kristen Barber

      Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

      Franco Barchiesi

      Ohio State University

      Medora W. Barnes

      John Carroll University

      Angel Barrasa

      University of Zaragoza

      Parul Baxi

      University of California, Davis

      Melissa Bayne

      University of California, Santa Cruz

      Barbara Bechter

      University of Vienna

      Richard A. Benton

      North Carolina State University

      Peter Berg

      Michigan State University

      Catherine White Berheide

      Skidmore College

      Yasemin Besen-Cassino

      Montclair State University

      Katerina Bezrukova

      Santa Clara University

      Denise D. Bielby

      University of California.

      Santa Barbara

      Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska

      University of Gdansk, Poland and SISSA, Italy

      David Bills

      University of Iowa

      Sharon R. Bird

      Iowa State University

      Dina Biscotti

      University of California, Davis

      Mary Blair-Loy

      University of California, San Diego

      Fred Block

      University of California, Davis

      Linda M. Blum

      Northeastern University

      Heike Boeltzig-Brown

      University of Massachusetts, Boston

      Sharon Bolton

      University of Strathclyde

      Joseph Bongiovi

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Teresa M. Boyer

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      Karen Bradley

      Western Washington University

      Helen Brambrink

      Annie E. Casey Foundation

      Enobong Hannah Branch

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Bernd Brandl

      University of Vienna

      Sarah Brayne

      Princeton University

      Malcolm Brynin

      University of Essex

      John W. Budd

      University of Minnesota

      Michelle J. Budig

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Colin S. Campbell

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Peter Cappelli

      University of Pennsylvania

      Françoise Carré

      University of Massachusetts, Boston

      A. Scott Carson

      Queen's University

      Angel Castro

      University of Zaragoza

      Lisa Catanzarite

      San Diego State University

      Curtis K. Chan

      Harvard Business School

      Maria Charles

      University of California, Santa Barbara

      Ali R. Chaudhary

      University of California, Davis

      George Cheney

      Kent State University

      Noelle Chesley

      University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

      Jennifer Jihye Chun

      University of British Columbia

      Stewart R. Clegg

      University of Technology, Sydney

      Sharon M. Collins

      University of Illinois

      Catherine Connell

      Boston University

      James Connor

      University of New South Wales at the

      Australian Defence Force Academy

      Faye J. Crosby

      University of California, Santa Cruz

      Jamie Cross

      University of Edinburgh

      Martha Crowley

      North Carolina State University

      George B. Cunningham

      Texas A & M University

      Deborah Cutler-Ortiz

      Wider Opportunities for Women

      Denise Daniels

      Seattle Pacific University

      Robin Dearmon Muhammad

      Ohio University

      Cynthia H. Deitch

      George Washington University

      Ileen A. DeVault

      Cornell University

      Nancy DiTomaso

      Rutgers Business School, Newark

      and New Brunswick

      Lisa Dodson

      Boston College

      Virginia Doellgast

      London School of Economics and Political Science

      Sarah Donley

      Kansas State University

      Elaine Draper

      California State University, Los Angeles

      Gili Sima Drori

      Hebrew University of Jerusalem

      Mignon Duffy

      University of Massachusetts, Lowell

      Rachel E. Dwyer

      Ohio State University

      Michelle Edwards

      Washington State University

      Doris Ruth Eikhof

      Stirling Management School, University of Stirling

      Julia R. Eisenberg

      Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick

      Shane Elliot

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Aimee Dars Ellis

      Ithaca College

      Kimberly D. Elsbach

      University of California, Davis

      Kim England

      University of Washington

      Lorraine Evans

      Georgia Health Science University

      Melissa Evans-Andris

      University of Louisville

      David Fasenfest

      Wayne State University

      Janice Fine

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      William Finlay

      University of Georgia

      Richard Florida

      University of Toronto

      Eva Fodor

      Central European University

      Shanyuan Foo

      Washington State University

      Peter Frase

      City University of New York, The Graduate Center

      Lori Freedman

      University of California, San Francisco

      Alexandre Frenette

      City University of New York, The Graduate Center

      Lewis A. Friedland

      University of Wisconsin, Madison

      Andrew Fullerton

      Oklahoma State University

      Craig Furneaux

      Queensland University of Technology

      Constance T. Gager

      Montclair State University

      Mary Gatta

      Wider Opportunities for Women

      Molly George

      California Lutheran University

      Robert Giloth

      Center for Community and Economic Opportunity

      Patti Giuffre

      Texas State University, San Marcos

      Christy Glass

      Utah State University

      Rebecca Glauber

      University of New Hampshire

      Shannon Gleeson

      University of California, Santa Cruz

      Ruth Gomberg-Munoz

      Loyola University of Chicago

      George Gonos

      State University of New York, Potsdam

      Tonie Marie Gordon

      University of Virginia

      Janet Gornick

      City University of New York, The Graduate Center

      Heidi Gottfried

      Wayne State University

      Sasha Grant

      University of Texas at Arlington

      Edward Granter

      Manchester Business School

      Benjamin F. Gray

      University of California, Santa Cruz

      Terje Grønning

      University of Oslo

      Mauro F. Guillén

      University of Pennsylvania

      Stephen Halebsky

      State University of New York, Cortland

      Brian W. Halpm

      University of California, Davis

      Lindsay Hamm

      North Carolina State University

      Michael J. Handel

      Northeastern University

      Adia Harvey Wingfield

      Georgia State University

      Erin Hatton

      State University of New York, Buffalo

      Megan Henly

      University of New Hampshire

      Jody L. Herman

      University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

      Rosanna Hertz

      Wellesley College

      Wolf Heydebrand

      New York University

      Jeremy Hickman

      University of Kentucky

      Andrea L. Hill

      Northeastern University

      Paul M. Hirsch

      Northwestern University

      Karen Ho

      University of Minnesota

      Kimberly Kay Hoang

      Rice University

      Tracey Hoover

      Central Washington University

      Kenneth Hudson

      University of South Alabama

      Vilja Hulden

      Independent Scholar

      Jacqueline Soteropoulos Incollingo

      University of Maryland

      Leslie Irvine

      University of Colorado, Boulder

      Thomas E. Janoski

      University of Kentucky

      Keith R. Johnson

      Oakton Community College

      Tom Juravich

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Stephen Kalberg

      Boston University

      Alexandra Kalev

      Tel Aviv University

      Arne L. Kalleberg

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Ali Kazemi

      University of Skövde

      J. R. Keller

      University of Pennsylvania

      William E. Kiernan

      University of Massachusetts, Boston

      Elizabeth Kiester

      Utah State University

      Howard Kimeldorf

      University of Michigan

      Nicola B. Klaus

      University Bw Munich

      Julie A. Kmec

      Washington State University

      Arielle Kuperberg

      University of North Carolina at Greensboro

      Bill Kt'epi

      Independent Scholar

      Gordon Lafer

      University of Oregon

      Daniel J. Lair

      University of Michigan, Flint

      Joshua Lambert

      North Carolina State University

      Jack Lam

      University of Minnesota

      Pei-Chia Lan

      National Taiwan University

      Kevin T. Leicht

      University of Iowa

      Kari Lerum

      University of Washington, Bothell

      Moran Levy

      Tel Aviv University

      David Lewin

      University of California, Los Angeles

      John Liptak

      Radford University

      Jessica Looze

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Marcos E. López

      Middlebury College

      Travis Scott Lowe

      University of Connecticut, Storrs

      David Luke

      University of Kentucky

      Katherine Maich

      University of California, Berkeley

      Keith A. Mann

      Cardinal Stritch University

      Anna Manzoni

      North Carolina State University

      Kristin Marsh

      University of Mary Washington

      Nathan Martin

      Arizona State University

      Patricia Yancey Martin

      Florida State University

      Todd E. (Forrest) Martin

      University of British Columbia

      Jamie K. McCallum

      Middlebury College

      Leo McCann

      University of Manchester

      David McCanna

      Carroll College

      Marta McClintock-Comeaux

      California University of Pennsylvania

      Rob McCusker

      Teesside University Business School

      Steve McDonald

      North Carolina State University

      Frances McKee Ryan

      University of Nevada, Reno

      Fiona A. E. McQuarrie

      University of the Fraser Valley

      Ashley Mears

      Boston University

      Lars Meier

      Technische Universität Berlin

      Cecilia Menjivar

      Arizona State University

      Joan S. M. Meyers

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      Matthew K. Minton

      Fairleigh Dickinson University

      Phyllis Moen

      University of Minnesota

      Christine Monnier

      College of DuPage

      Kathleen Montgomery

      University of California, Riverside

      Jeylan T. Mortimer

      University of Minnesota

      Ted Mouw

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Manjusha Nair

      National University of Singapore

      Bradley Nash, Jr.

      Appalachian State University

      Ruth Needleman

      Indiana University

      Cynthia Negrey

      University of Louisville

      Katherine S. Newman

      Johns Hopkins University

      John Nirenberg

      Walden University

      Elizabeth Nisbet

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      Brigid O'Farrell

      Mills College

      Amalya Oliver-Lumerman

      Hebrew University of Jerusalem

      Siobhan O'Mahony

      Boston University School of Management

      Hiroshi Ono

      Texas A & M University

      David Orzechowicz

      University of California, Davis

      Debra Osnowitz

      Clark University

      Eileen M. Otis

      University of Oregon

      Brian Ott

      University of Oregon

      Toby L. Parcel

      North Carolina State University

      Anju Mary Paul

      University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

      Julianne Payne

      North Carolina State University

      Roberto Pedersini

      Università degli Studi di Milano

      Alycia Usher Perez

      University of Akron

      Ross Perlin

      Independent Scholar

      Carolyn C. Perrucci

      Purdue University

      Robert Perrucci

      Purdue University

      Jennifer L. Pierce

      University of Minnesota

      Doria Pilling

      City University London

      Matthew Piszczek

      Michigan State University

      Nancy Plankey-Videla

      Texas A & M University

      Robin L. Pleau

      University of California, Davis

      Winifred R. Poster

      Washington University, St. Louis

      Harland Prechel

      Texas A & M University

      Christopher Prener

      Northeastern University

      Harriet B. Presser

      University of Maryland

      Bob Price

      Texas State University, San Marcos

      Allison Pugh

      University of Virginia

      Christina Purcell

      Manchester Metropolitan University

      Gretchen Purser

      Syracuse University

      Beth Red Bird

      Stanford University

      Ellen Reese

      University of California, Riverside

      Erin M. Reid

      Harvard University

      Jeremy Reynolds

      University of Georgia

      Kevin Riley

      University of California, Los Angeles

      George Ritzer

      University of Maryland

      Lauren A. Rivera

      Northwestern University

      Sylvia Rohlfer

      Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros

      David Rolland

      Université du Québec

      Ellen Israel Rosen

      Brandeis University

      Preston Rudy

      San Jose State University

      Sonja Anita Sackmann

      University Bw Munich

      Michael Alan Sacks

      Emory University, Goizueta Business School

      Jeffrey J. Sallaz

      University of Arizona

      Natalie Sappleton

      Manchester Metropolitan University

      Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt

      London School of Economics

      Kristen Schilt

      University of Chicago

      Jennifer Marie Schopp

      University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

      Marc-David L. Seidel

      University of British Columbia

      Gay Seidman

      University of Wisconsin

      Ofer Sharone

      MIT Sloan School of Management

      Kimberlee Shauman

      University of California, Davis

      David Shulman

      Lafayette College

      Bryan Simon

      Temple University

      Robert T. Sitko

      University of Texas at Austin

      Melissa M. Sloan

      University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee

      Vicki Smith

      University of California, Davis

      Laurel Smith-Doerr

      Boston University

      Chester S. Spell

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      Florian Spickenreither

      University Bw Munich

      Clare L. Stacey

      Kent State University

      Jason Stanley

      New York University

      Robert Alan Stebbins

      University of Calgary

      Ilean Stigliani

      Imperial College London

      Joyce Tang

      City University of New York

      Hovig Tchalian

      Claremont Graduate University

      Sarah Thébaud

      Princeton University

      Paul Thompson

      University of Strathclyde

      Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

      University of Massachusetts, Amherst

      Julia Tomassetti

      University of California, Los Angeles

      Kjell Yngve Törnblom

      University of Skövde

      Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay

      Télé-université, UQAM

      Lindsey B. Trimble

      Stanford University

      Zoe Trodd

      Columbia University

      Eddy U

      University of California, Davis

      Katrina M. Uhly

      Northeastern University

      Todd Vachon

      University of Connecticut

      Charles S. Varano

      California State University, Sacramento

      James Vardaman

      Mississippi State University

      Matt Vidal

      King's College London

      Sabrina D. Volpone

      Temple University

      Bradley Peter Walchuk

      York University

      Jennifer Walinga

      Royal Roads University

      Lisa L. Walker

      Middle Tennessee State University

      Michael Wallace

      University of Connecticut

      Chris Warhurst

      University of Sydney

      Zachary P. Watne

      University of Georgia

      Bart L. Weathington

      The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

      Gretchen R. Webber

      Middle Tennessee State University

      John Weeks

      IMD, Switzerland

      Johanna Weststar

      Western University

      Amy Wharton

      Washington State University

      Karen White

      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

      Vanessa R. Wight

      Columbia University

      Stacy J. Williams

      University of California, San Diego

      Beth Williford

      Manhattanville College

      Jane Wills

      Queen Mary University of London

      George Wilson

      University of Miami

      John Wilson

      Duke University

      Carol Wolkowitz

      University of Warwick

      Shinjae Won

      University of Pennsylvania

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      University of Oklahoma

      Satomi Yamamoto

      National Fisheries University

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      University of Akron

      Kyoung-Hee Yu

      University of New South Wales

      Anthony R. Yue

      Mount Saint Vincent University

      Yasmin Zaidi

      Brandeis University

      James Zetka

      State University of New York, Albany

      Dan Zuberi

      Harvard University

      Shoshana Zuboff

      Harvard Business School

      Lorna Lueker Zukas

      National University


      Virtually everyone around the globe is affected by the contemporary social and material organization of work. For most people today, holding down a job is not optional, and many adults spend the majority of their waking hours clocked in at their jobs. We depend on our employment systems for wages, security, and opportunities in the form of training and skill acquisition. In the United States, we depend on employment for health benefits as well, setting us apart from countries that provide universal health care to their citizens.

      Work, jobs, and careers have considerable power to shape the quality of everyday life. For some people, jobs and careers are sources of meaning, reward, dignity, identity, and community. For others, they are merely a means to an end, sites of alienation and discouragement that must be endured in order to earn a paycheck. Sociologists are unanimous in their view that work organizations—their practices, missions, policies, cultures, and control strategies—contribute to inequitably distributed social and economic outcomes for diverse populations of labor force participants. Thus, the degree to which people experience their work as gratifying and rewarding varies by factors such as social status, race, ethnicity, gender, class, immigration status, and education, to name a few.

      In the United States and most advanced industrial societies—the focus of this volume—work and work organizations are remarkably heterogenous. They vary cross-nationally yet similar patterns characterize work institutions in market economies. Work organizations range from being small and informal to having hundreds of thousands of employees and a high level of bureaucratization and formalization. People traverse career ladders inside formal organizations but they also construct careers and jobs external to them. They labor both inside and outside the formal economy. They produce things and knowledge, and they affect customers’ emotions and embodied experiences. Some are positioned in the upper reaches of corporate hierarchies, overseeing huge budgets, complex projects, and large workforces, while many labor in the middle or at the bottom of such hierarchies, following the commands issued by those at the top.

      Work environments vary enormously, from manufacturing (auto) to service (hospitality) sectors, from traditional (General Motors, IBM, McDonald's) to new (Google, Facebook) industries, from public establishments to the privacy of one's home. Sociologists have coined numerous metaphors to capture the variability (both inertia and dynamism) of occupational processes, including “glass ceilings,” “sticky floors,” “glass escalators,” “revolving doors,” “bubbles,” and “glass cages.” Temporal rhythms of work vary, with many working full-time, standard schedules, or increasingly, working part-time, contingent, or other nonstandard jobs. With the proliferation of temporary workers who are hired by third-party agencies to toil on the premises of a firm, workers are not always certain of the identity of their official employer. Work organizations are ubiquitous; even organizations not typically associated with the topic of work (for example, a zoo or a fashion runway) are workplaces for someone. We find work organizations in the for-profit business sector, the nonprofit world, education, the military, health care, media, sports, and other disparate fields of activity.

      Social Theorists and Work

      Early pioneers in the discipline of sociology, including Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Émile Durkheim, all recognized the centrality of work in modern society. As the first social theorists to write critically about the emergence of capitalism and the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial society, they argued that industrial organizations were instrumental in driving these waves of social change. Thus, the study of work and economy has been interwoven with the origins of the discipline in a way that few topics are. All three social theorists were concerned about the ways in which industrialization reconfigured economic institutions and relationships. All three also believed that the troubling dynamics of markets and industrial organizations spread far beyond the confines of the factory walls or of bureaucracies.

      For Marx, capitalism, as a distinct mode of production, was built on the exploitation and alienation of the vast majority of workers who labored for the few who owned the means of production, and who, in so doing, were alienated from their products, from their fellow humans, and from their very human essence. For Marx, this alienation was pervasive throughout capitalist society, extending into state, polity, and culture, to be remedied only with a revolutionary overthrow of this distinct economic system. For Weber, the rationalization processes characteristic of bureaucratization could enable industry leaders to create greater efficiencies, yet at the same time, he feared that these processes would increasingly restrict the degree to which people could work autonomously and democratically. Weber traced the dynamics of bureaucratic organizations from factories to the offices of trade unionists and politicians, predicting that all spheres of modern society would be reshaped and ultimately trapped by rationalization processes. The shape of industrial organizations would leave its imprint on all other social institutions. Durkheim posited that the division of labor in an increasingly complex and specialized society would provide no less than the foundation of moral order. Durkheim was optimistic that capitalism and industrial organization had the capacity to create new efficiencies, interdependencies, and solidarity between people, but worried that, if improperly regulated, it also had the capacity to heighten anomie, a form of alienation and breakdown of societal norms.

      Scope of Sociology of Work

      As we have moved into the 21st century, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim's belief that work is core to the human experience continues to be relevant.Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia takes up this and many other issues. The goal of the volumes is to comprehensively identify the numerous factors, at both the macro- and microlevels, that create, sustain, and characterize work organizations and social relations. It uses a wide-angle lens to examine how state and federal institutions regulate treatment of workers while zooming in on topics like viewing gossip as an interactional force that binds workers together every day in their jobs. Its scope is as broad as occupational segregation (the systematic and widespread division of distinct groups of workers into different jobs) and as finegrained as the social significance of office cubicles. It broadly theorizes about workplace culture and explores distinct empirical strands of culture, such as the design of fun workplaces, the premium on face time, and the expression of identity through displaying family photos in one's workspace.

      By presenting causal explanations for and identifying effects of structural arrangements and practices, readers can better understand important policy issues including, “How has immigration changed employment practices?”; “With discrimination having been outlawed by federal legislation, why do we continue to see evidence of workplace-generated race, ethnic, and gender inequality?”; “What would have to change to encourage more workers to take advantage of family supportive policies?”; and “How has industrial and economic restructuring affected family life in the United States and other advanced industrial economies?”

      It is both descriptive (providing data on important outcomes such as job segregation, the wage gaps between women and men and between whites and people of color, unemployment, changing household demographics, and wage inequality more generally) and analytical (presenting theories and explanations for the processes that create those outcomes, such as the job queueing theory; feminization of work; homosocial reproduction; statistical, institutional, and direct discrimination; and organizational mechanisms of inequality). In other words, these volumes cover the gamut of institutions, practices, processes, cultures, and policies that explain trends in work, labor force participation, and employment relationships.

      Thematic contributions: Aside from this agenda, this encyclopedia also makes six thematic contributions to the sociology of work. First, many of these entries incorporate critical gender and race analyses. Understanding race, ethnic, and gender stratification (and stratification based on sexual orientation) is one of the most pressing agendas we face in a diverse, multicultural society. Work plays a singular role in creating social inequality in contemporary society—our access to certain types of jobs, benefits, and protections. Many of the entries in this volume explain how this has happened over time and shed light on structural arrangements, cognitive biases, organizational mechanisms, and organizational cultures that systematically serve to include some subpopulations in “better” jobs and keep other subpopulations out of them.

      Historical perspective: A great many of these entries take a comparative historical perspective. Comparing the historical origins and cross-national manifestations of work—its institutions, culture, practices, social relations—is critical. It is a common misconception that the arrangements of contemporary capitalist, industrial societies represent the way things have always been done and always will be done; that there is something natural and inherently desirable to these institutional forms. To the contrary: Institutions and practices have shifted and have been contested over time. Understanding the past enables us to see how political struggles and employers’ and political leaders’ strategies have given rise to current arrangements, and thus to imagine and theorize about what can be constructed differently in the future. Understanding cross-national variation similarly enables us to see what is exceptional about our own practices and why, and whether we can improve those practices and institutions.

      Households and families: This encyclopedia is also predicated on the understanding that the world of paid work in labor markets is crucially intertwined with the world of unpaid (and sometimes paid) work in households. A sociological understanding of labor market activities is impossible without examining how it is sustained by activities in households and how activities in households are engendered by adults’ paid labor market activities. Families make it possible for adults and youth to participate in the labor force through the provision of food, shelter, and emotional sustenance. Family members perform unpaid labor (health care of family members, volunteer work in children's schools) in order to compensate for diminishing household incomes and community revenue. Parents often decide that both adults will work for pay in the labor market to compensate for the declining wages of the main wage earner. Family members engage in various economic activities in their homes to supplement wages earned in the workplace. At the same time, labor force participants increasingly bring their work home with them (work spillover), made possible in particular by new technologies that connect workers to their workplaces. Today, we see a great deal of “boundary blurring” between the two realms and creative strategizing to enable families to weave together their paid work/home work activities. Many of these arrangements and processes are highly gendered: patterns of labor force participation (rates of participation, the type of schedules worked) and the division of labor in the home (housework, child care, emotion work) differ for men and women.

      New developments: A number of entries address cutting-edge developments in the world of work. They include changes in the way people are hired (e.g., a result of the growth of third-party labor market intermediaries, such as temporary help agencies and headhunters) and how they are dismissed (restructured, downsized, disposed of); new types of careers (external, boundaryless), and occupations (cool jobs, lifestyle work, Wall Street jobs); changes in the normative life course (retirement, heightened job insecurity and labor market preparation), labor market practices (the rise of contingent, nonstandard workforces), and organizational templates (“McDonaldization,” networked organizations, the open source movement); transformations in the way goods and services are distributed around the world (the logistics revolution, supply chains); new technologies (such as the Internet and various social media) that change our work and where and how we carry it out; and how the widespread use of nonstandard scheduling (night shifts, weekends, flexible scheduling) is transforming gender relations within the home. Some entries highlight new demands placed on workers and citizens and new ways of possibly exploiting them, as corporations unceasingly search for new sources of revenue (the pressure to remain employable, the way Facebook profits from our labor, the rise of the prosumer, internships, consumption, volunteer work).

      Social movements: Another contribution explores people striving to survive, to make do, to fight against, and to exploit structural changes in the economy that systematically disadvantages them. Entries on the moral underground, consumer boycotts, human rights campaigns, corporate social responsibility, social movement unionism, community-based worker centers, resistance, and new union organizing strategies all suggest that individuals and groups are cognizant of the power of collective responses to corporate power. These entries bring actors and their agency to the center of the sociological understanding of work.

      Micro- and macrolevel structures: Finally, work institutions and the economy comprise macro-level structural arrangements and microlevel behaviors, interactions, and values. No sociological perspective on any topic is complete without a broad and deep appreciation for both, mutually constitutive levels. This reference provides considerable insight to each. Readers will learn about the origins of the large multidivisional firm and of labor markets, the emergence of new production systems, and the growth of the global economy. At the same time, readers will learn how job holders act and interact on the ground, how they construct and manage their identities (based on gender, class, and race; “corporate closet” “doing gender”; and “impression management”), their willingness or resistance in following the orders of bosses and employers, all of which sustain these institutions and reshape them.

      Conclusion The sociology of work is a vibrant field of scholarship. The implications of work and its social and material organization reach far beyond the walls of the factory floor, the office, the fast food restaurant, or corporate headquarters. As a field of inquiry, it encompasses a wide and deep range of phenomena: from unrelenting globalization processes that change industries and people's lives with breathtaking speed to direct sales organizations in which economic profit is built on one small interaction at a time; from the contours of the 24/7 economy to human trafficking and slavery; from the emergence of post-Fordism to distinct consumption practices; and from resisting degradation to having fun on the job. I hope this volume will be helpful to everyone striving to understand these vastly diverse and complex dimensions of the contemporary world of work.

      I would like to thank Sue Moskowitz and Geoff Golson for their support, and Sue, especially, for her expert and patient guidance through the extremely detailed and demanding process of assembling volumes like these. I now understand the occupation of “author manager”—how fortunate that my introduction to it was through Sue. Finally, I am very indebted to everyone who agreed to contribute to this volume. This is an exciting lineup of topics and contributors, many of whom are leading experts in the sociology of work. Readers will enjoy the unique impression these scholars have stamped on their areas of expertise. Observing the quiet and somewhat invisible labor of these 250-plus encyclopedia contributors, I've gained a new respect for colleagues’ generosity and for their willingness to share their knowledge and time for the benefit of producing a high-quality resource for readers trying to learn about our field.

      VickiSmith Editor


      Early prehistory: The earliest humans are scavengers rather than hunters. Pre-sapiens ancestors and Homo sapiens alike collect fruit, nuts, eggs, and shellfish, and scavenge meat from the carcasses killed by predators or by natural causes. Fishing likely develops before the hunting of large animals, which requires planning, cooperation, and the manufacture of weapons.

      Early prehistory: At some point, true hunter-gatherers, who kill their own meat, replace scavengers. Around 70,000 B.C.E., hunter-gatherers become more specialized, focusing on specific types of game and developing specialized tools and weapons. Paleo-Indians of the Americas follow herds of megafauna, while many African groups follow herds of kudu or antelope. In some cases, seasonal rain patterns and water availability influence the nomadic hunter-gatherers’ travels more than the activities of animal herds.

      8000–5000 B.C.E.: The Neolithic Revolution transforms human culture. In various places throughout the world—most likely beginning in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East and developing independently in other parts of the world—nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers begin raising food crops and domesticating animals. In doing so, they give up their nomadic lifestyle in favor of sedentary communities of villages and towns. The ability to produce surpluses of food allows these communities to remain in one place year-round (or in some cases to migrate between two seasonal homes) rather than needing to follow a herd of prey. Food surpluses also lead to specialization of labor and division of labor on a scale never before seen, leading to the hallmarks of early human civilization: the first sophisticated trading economies; the development of art, architecture, and arithmetic; and early technologies like irrigation.

      9th–10th centuries B.C.E.: In the late Bronze Age, the cornerstone institution of Greece is the oikos, an aristocratic household consisting of an extended family living on a landed estate along with slaves, hired laborers and craftsmen, retainers, visiting foreigners, and guests. Every oikos is engaged in agricultural production and at least some basic refining of agricultural goods—such as grapes into wine or hides into leather—but the greatest noble households engage so many workers and skilled artisans that they are nearly self-sufficient.

      9th–10th centuries B.C.E.: Throughout the ancient world, slaves are an important part of the labor force; some are born or sold into slavery, some serve as slaves temporarily, and some become slaves to pay off a debt or after being captured in war or raids. In many cases, bodies of law define who can and cannot be made a slave and how a master must treat his slaves. Further, there are types of work that masters are forbidden to require a slave to perform. Slave labor is critical to the building of many of the ancient world's greatest feats of engineering, including the pyramids of Egypt.

      5th–8th centuries B.C.E.: Self-sufficiency of noble houses declines during the Archaic period in Greece, as increases in trade and colonization make currency more important. The polis (Greek city-state) emerges, and with it a greater division and specialization of labor. Manual labor is seen as the fate of those who cannot afford a life of leisure; the greatest aspiration is to be a philosopher.

      4th century B.C.E.: In Republic, Plato describes the origin of the state as resulting from a necessary division of labor; because different men pursue different vocations, each of which meets different needs, they must be bound together in a common state where each supplies the needs of the other.

      1st–6th centuries B.C.E.: In the Roman republic, society is heavily hierarchical, with class and occupation inextricably intertwined. Numerous trades are considered inappropriate for the nobility (or those who aspire to it): lenders and tax collectors, because their work makes them unpopular with the public; any job that depends on manual labor more than a learned skill; and, least respectable of all, what Cicero called the trades that cater to sensual pleasures: fishermen and fishmongers, butchers, cooks, perfumers, dancers, and variety show performers. Merchants are considered vulgar unless they are wholesalers; teaching, medicine, and architecture are respected because they both require intelligence and involve work that benefits society. Although many of these attitudes might persist in the modern day, the key difference was the attitude toward farming, seen as a noble pursuit that throughout the ancient world, often was one to be aspired to later in life, when one could retire from life in the city.

      1st–6th centuries B.C.E.: Fraternities of craftsmen, each based around a specific trade, develop in ancient Greece (koinon), Rome (collegia), and China (hanghui).

      4th century C.E.: In ancient India, shreni are associations of people sharing a vocation; there are shreni for specific types of merchants, traders, and artisans, some of which guard trade secrets that are passed from father to son. There are some indications that even by this time, shreni had existed for several centuries.

      6th century: Benedict of Nursia composes hisRegula(rules), a set of regulations and guiding principles for monasteries. Among Benedict's chief concerns, in sharp contrast to the ancient Greeks, are the spiritual and intellectually unhealthy effects of idleness. Because the day cannot be spent solely on prayer and rest, monasteries become centers of agricultural activity, craftsmanship, and early European academia. Acting as western Europe's think tanks, monasteries disseminate through the Christian world the notion of work as a good in and of itself. That conception of work has theological repercussions for centuries, in the presentation of God as a master builder, which develops into the Enlightenment idea of God as an engineer, the Deist conception of God as the Supreme Architect of a clockwork universe, and the 20th-century idea of intelligent design.

      8th–13th centuries: As early Islamic caliphates spread, numerous crop species are diffused through and adapted to local conditions in the growing Arab world, including Indian mangos and cotton, Chinese citrus, and African sorghum. The Arab agricultural revolution improves food quality and the diversity of the Arab world as a result, and spreads engineering innovations like waterwheels and advanced water pumps, impacting the distribution and specialization of the Arab labor force.

      9th century: Attempts are made in England to Christianize the Anglo-Saxon guilds, egalitarian communities in which members deposit money into a common fund that is then used to pay for the burials of members who die or the fines of members arrested for certain crimes. In the 11th century, these guilds become less religious in activity as a result of the Norman Conquest and the introduction to England of many aspects of French culture.

      12th–15th centuries: The colonization movement of Europeans begins in Europe itself, as the Church encourages people to move into unused forest, waste, and marshlands. Members of monasteries assist by draining soil and clearing forests. Extractive industries become more skilled and specialized: Deep-sea fisheries are established throughout the Baltic and northern seas, timber industries provide fuel and shipbuilding materials, chickens and pigs are raised in great numbers, beekeeping produces honey and wax, and the breeding of animals becomes a matter of serious study. Crop rotation and iron plows improve agricultural yields, and industrial crops like cotton, sugarcane, hemp, flax, madder, and silkworms are developed.

      13th-16th centuries: Trade and artisan guilds become extremely powerful in medieval Europe. The number of guilds operating in Paris rises from 100 in 1250 to 350 a few decades later. The growing number is a result in part of the specificity of the guild membership: metal workers do not share a guild, but rather may be found in groups like the locksmiths’ guild, the chain-forgers’ guild, the harness-polishers’ guild, and the knife-maker's guild. Guilds are instrumental in the creation of skilled labor. They serve numerous functions, sharing traits in common with modern labor unions, vocational schools, and industry regulatory bodies. Their funds are used to support elderly or infirm members, as well as deceased members’ surviving dependents; in some cases, members may be given funds in order to travel to another city to find work. They also impose a standardized period of apprenticeship, which—like early labor unions—benefits those members of the guild already practicing a trade but makes it increasingly difficult to enter that trade.

      13th–16th centuries: Although the apprenticeship system provides valuable training for novices, its ultimate purpose is to guard existing practitioners from younger competition. Further, the expense and time commitment of joining a trade makes the modern world's career flexibility unthinkable: once trained as a knife-maker, it is impractical at best or more likely impossible to consider a change of careers without pursuing one outside the guild system, which usually means unskilled labor at a much lower wage. This, in turn, makes the workforce resistant to the changes introduced or made possible by technological innovation—workers worry about having their jobs replaced by automation or outsourcing.

      15th century: In Europe, use of the domestic system begins, in which work is subcontracted out to workers who produce goods in their own private facilities, typically their homes. The domestic system becomes more popular in the 17th century and is especially relied on by the textiles industry and the wrought iron industry. Merchants in other industries also contract workers to assemble various goods at home. The domestic system eventually dies out as the rise of factories centralizes such work and removes it from the home, but it is the main cause of the modern nuclear family household, as cottage industry income makes adults less dependent on their extended families for financial support, housing, and child care.

      15th century: The domestic system is able to coexist with guilds in large part because guilds operate almost exclusively in cities.

      16th–18th centuries: During the Age of Discovery, the doctrine of mercantilism dominates western European politics, driving many of the wars and motivating early colonialism. Under mercantilism, the prosperity and security of the nation is derived from government-controlled foreign trade, specifically a positive balance of trade and ideally economic dominance of one's trading partners. The continent-wide emphasis on manufacture and export has a deep impact on the markets and employment.

      16th–18th centuries: Although many of the criticisms of mercantilism are clear today, the doctrine results in the accumulation of vast amounts of capital and investments in manufacturing that are prerequisite to the Industrial Revolution.

      16th–18th centuries: During the Protestant Reformation, according to the later arguments of economist Max Weber, the “Protestant work ethic” is developed: the idea, associated particularly with Lutherans, Calvinists, and the Thirteen Colonies of British North America, that hard work is a necessary part of a moral life and that worldly success (success in one's work life) is an outward sign of inner salvation. It is on the basis of the Protestant work ethic that some churches will initially resist or condemn the efforts of labor unions, on the argument that asking to work less or to be given more for one's labors is unchristian.

      16th–18th centuries: In colonial North America, many adults arrive as indentured servants: workers whose passage to the New World has been paid for by an employer in return for several years of labor. During the indentured period, workers are not paid wages but are trained at their vocation and provided with food, clothes, and a place to live. In the 17th century, nearly two-thirds of new adult settlers were indentured servants.

      16th–18th centuries: A similar institution is that of the bound apprentice, an American-born child under the control of the courts because of being orphaned or given away by his or her impoverished family; the child is made to serve as an apprentice to pay its way, until a certain age.

      16th–18th centuries: The trans-Atlantic slave trade of African slaves sent to the New World as laborers involves extraordinary numbers of slaves bought or seized to work on plantations (principally cotton, sugar, coffee, cacao, and tobacco), in mines, in rice fields, and in the construction, timber, and service industries. The economies of the Americas and Europe are deeply dependent on the institution and abuses of slavery for hundreds of years.

      1786: A wage reduction in Philadelphia's printing industry leads to the country's first successful strike.

      1793: Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, a machine that separates cotton fiber from its seeds, revolutionizing the textile industry by expanding the supply and reducing the price of cotton and creating a demand for improved textile machinery. It also enhances the American south's economic dependence on the plantation system and slavery, as cotton becomes too profitable to abandon and the demand for manual labor to pick it skyrockets. In 60 years, the number of slaves increases from 700,000 to 3.2 million.

      1793: The cotton gin, along with the 1778 development of James Watt's improved steam engine (on which the patent expires in the early 19th century), helps bring about the Industrial Revolution, as Britain and the United States transition from an economy based on manual labor and draft animals to one based on machine work. The textile and iron-making industries are the first to mechanize, disrupting old jobs and creating new ones. All-metal machine tools are soon developed, leading to new production techniques.

      1793: The Industrial Revolution results in the decline and near disappearance of the domestic system and the guilds (labor unions eventually take on some of the guilds’ functions) as well as the abandonment of mercantilism.

      Late 18th century: Guilds are increasingly condemned as hindrances to technological innovation, business interests, and free trade. In particular, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith, who will later be considered the two great economic thinkers of the age, write extensively of the ills of the guilds.

      Late 18th century: The first men's labor unions form in the United States; women's unions, principally representing women working days of 16 hours or more in sweatshops, follow in the early 19th century. It is still some decades before labor unions become widespread.

      1828–33: Workingmen's political parties, calling for free public education, the reduction or elimination of child labor, and a 10-hour workday, are formed in a dozen states. Local elections are won in notable eastern cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

      1844: The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London to provide for the spiritual and social needs of the many young men who have migrated into the city to work, a phenomenon that is novel at the time and driven by the changes of the Industrial Revolution.

      1845: Representatives of the Lowell mill workers’ trade union address the Massachusetts legislature on working conditions in the mills, leading to the first government investigation of working conditions and, by implication, affirming the notion that it is sometimes the duty of democratic government to protect employees from employers.

      1846: The sewing machine is invented, allowing the domestic system to continue in the area of men's clothing, having been phased out in most other industries.

      1846: Early American labor unions come under attack by church groups, business associations, newspapers, and some state governments, and suffer from internal tensions over ethnic inclusivity.

      1848: German political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto, an analytical approach to class struggle and the relationship between workers and employers.

      1860s: Labor unions and the American economy both resurge after the Civil War, though the south is much slower to recover because of Reconstruction. The Second Industrial Revolution, the later phase of the Industrial Revolution, begins with the development of Bessemer steel, made using the first inexpensive process for mass-producing steel.

      1860s: The availability of cheaper steel fueled the “American system of manufacturing,” in which interchangeable parts were used to create manufactured goods like sewing machines and bicycles. Other major Second Industrial Revolution developments include electrification, the assembly line, and the automobile, all of which change not only the job market but also population distributions and the relationship between people and their jobs. The automobile and public transportation make commuting to work possible, along with working outside the community in which one lives.

      1866–73: The National Labor Union, though brief-lived, is the United States’ first federation of unions.

      1867: The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, typically called the Grange, is founded as a fraternal organization and advocacy group for American farmers. Although the Grange's political power wanes after World War I, in the intervening decades, its lobbying is extremely influential and is instrumental in establishing rural free delivery of the U.S. mail, regulating railroads, passing temperance legislation, supporting women's suffrage, and the direct election of senators.

      1869: The Knights of Labor is founded, the first labor union to succeed at long-lived efficacy and broad geographic scope. Key to the Knights’ philosophy is the idea that all producers share a common lot and common interests, regardless of which goods they produce. More radical than many other unions, its radical attitude is exaggerated by the press and by the union's opposition. The Knights are instrumental in developing working-class culture and promoting the idea, central to labor unions since, of each man looking after the interests of all and of democracy and labor unions serving the same goal.

      1870: The rapid growth of the railroads after the Civil War leads to railway brotherhoods (including unions for locomotive engineers, conductors, and locomotive firemen) throughout the country; the rail industry in general is more hospitable to labor unions than many others. Perhaps in part because of that healthy relationship, railway unions are considerably more moderate than many of the famous unions of the era, such as the Knights of Labor.

      1870–1924: Increased Chinese immigration to the United States leads to numerous forms of xenophobic anti-Chinese sentiment and actions, especially targeting Chinese migrant workers, miners, and railroad workers, who are typically hired for lower wages than American men. In many cases, employers argue against wage increases (or in favor of wage decreases) for American workers by using Chinese workers as scapegoats, pointing out that Americans unwilling to work cheaply can simply be replaced by immigrants. Violent actions include an 1871 massacre of Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles and multiple attacks on Chinese workers in the northwest in the 1880s. Anti-Chinese legislation includes the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act (expanded by the Geary Act in 1892), which forbids Chinese laborers from entering the country, in the most severely limiting piece of immigration legislation in American history. Immigration acts passed in 1921 and 1924 restrict immigration according to national origin in order to preserve the country's racial makeup.

      1881: The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions forms. Like the National Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, it promotes a sort of labor ecumenism, emphasizing the common needs of labor unions regardless of their industry. It is originally formed to further specific legislative goals (e.g., an eight-hour workday, the elimination of child labor) and to assist with the formation of new unions.

      1882: Peter McGuire of the Carpenters Union first proposes a Labor Day holiday.

      1883: By now, the average workday is 10 hours and for most, the workweek lasts from Monday through Saturday.

      1886: A May 4 labor demonstration at Chicago's Haymarket Square in support of workers striking for an eight-hour workday is disrupted by a dynamite bomb thrown at police dispatched to disperse the protest. The bomb and resulting gun-fight results in the deaths of seven policemen and four civilians. Eight anarchists are later convicted of conspiracy (seven of them sentenced to death for the crime), though the prosecution admits none of them is thought to be the bomber, who remains unknown.

      1886: Peter McGuire and others call for a convention of labor union representatives in the wake of the Haymarket Riot. The result is the merging of several unions and federations, including the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, into the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

      1887: Oregon is the first state to adopt a Labor Day holiday. Twenty-nine other states follow in the next seven years.

      1890s: Disputes between miners and mine owners in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, area involve Pinkerton detectives hired to go undercover and gather information on the miners, wage reductions, strikes, injuries, and deaths following acts by miners that include explosions and seizures of trains. Military rule is imposed on the area for months after martial law is declared.

      1893: French sociologist Émile Durkheim publishes The Division of Labor in Society, describing the division of labor as key to advanced industrialist societies because people are put to use and rewarded according to their merit. In Durkheim's view, social inequality reflects the real inequality that exists between different people's abilities and merits.

      1894: When the Pullman Palace Car Company cuts wages in response to the latest of several 19th-century depressions, railway workers led by Eugene Debs (a later socialist candidate for president) boycott Pullman cars in a show of solidarity with the striking Pullman factory workers. Across the country, switchmen refuse to connect Pullman cars onto trains, denying them their business. In a matter of days, 125,000 workers quit when ordered to end the boycott. A federal court issues an injunction against the unions on antitrust grounds, and President Grover Cleveland sends in marshals and army troops to break the strike. It is widely considered an overly aggressive show of force.

      1894: Labor Day becomes a federal holiday as a concession to workers following the government's poor handling of the strike.

      1899: American economist Thorstein Veblen publishes The Theory of the Leisure Class, a study of consumerism arguing that status, not utility, is what drives much of economic activity. In the century leading up to his work, and especially in the century to follow, a great deal of profit is made from leisure or status-indicating products ranging from entertainment to designer jeans to sports cars.

      Late 19th century: Day nurseries emerge to provide childcare services to mothers in the workforce. Most of the nurseries are babysitting services, unlike today's educational pre-K programs; some work to help assimilate the children of immigrant families.

      Late 19th century: During the Gilded Age, after the country recovers from Reconstruction, American manufacturing production surpasses Britain's, and the United States becomes the dominant manufacturing nation in the world. The prosperity fuels the building of railroads to better connect the country's vast lands, as well as an increasingly sophisticated finance industry and the rise of early major corporations like U.S. Steel and Standard Oil.

      1901: The AFL reaches 1 million members.

      1904: Thorstein Veblen publishes The Theory of Business Enterprise, an analysis of the relationships between industry (making goods) and business (making profits) and the ways in which business interests do not always coincide with public interests.

      1905: Thirty laborers form the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Chicago. The IWW, or “Wobblies,” becomes a powerful union representing workers from numerous industries, though it eventually dwindles in influence after the 1930s.

      1907: The Canadian government passes the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, establishing the procedure a labor union must go through in order to call a strike. The constitutionality of the law is challenged, and the Canadian Supreme Court rules that it exceeds the federal government's authority; as a result, separate labor relations statutes are passed in each of Canada's 10 provinces, with an additional federal statute applying to those workers employed by federally regulated industries. Canadian labor unions, unlike American unions, are decentralized as a result, organizing and operating at the provincial rather than national level.

      1910: The Great Migration of African Americans out of southern U.S. states and into the industrial cities of the northeast, west, and midwest begins. Migration of African Americans began shortly after Reconstruction, in response to their poor treatment in the south; as race relations reach their nadir, the migration becomes much more rapid, and it is spurred again when the second Ku Klux Klan is founded in 1915. From 1910 to 1930, the African American population of northern states increases by 40 percent, especially concentrated in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. The influx of working-class populations to the cities aids in the growth of their industries.

      1911: Mechanical engineer Frederick Taylor publishes Principles of Scientific Management, the first systematic study of factory work and efficiency. Scientific management, or “Taylorism,” seeks to streamline the tasks involved in manufacturing processes in order to standardize them and maximize their efficiency.

      1914: Henry Ford reduces the workday at his factory to eight hours to prevent a strike by the Industrial Workers of the World. Missed days of work are reduced in the following year.

      1919: When telephone workers strike in response to a refused wage increase, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology assist the New England Telephone Company in filling the vacant positions with college student strikebreakers. These workers are attacked on arrival and refused service in the local hotels and restaurants by the Cooks and Waiters Union as a sign of solidarity.

      1919: Throughout the year, there are a total of about 3,600 strikes, almost 10 a day—21 percent of the American labor force strikes at least once.

      1922: Having adopted the eight-hour workday, Ford introduces the five-day workweek for some of his jobs. By 1926, most Ford workers are on a five-day week.

      1922: The Great Railroad Strike begins in response to the announcement of a wage cut; the operators’ union does not join the strike, but some 400,000 positions are vacated by members of other unions. The strike begins July 1, and on September 1, a federal court issues an injunction against striking, assembling, and picketing. The strike is long lasting, with periods of violence, and sours relations between labor and the railways for many years.

      1929: In a sharp contrast to the peak of 10 years earlier, the year sees only 900 strikes, involving less than 2 percent of the labor force.

      1929: The stock market crashes in October, the first phase of the Great Depression that lasts until the end of the 1930s. The economic collapse, which impacts Europe as well as North America, not only drives up unemployment to record levels but also leads to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal legislation and increases in the size and scope of the federal government; furthers the trend, begun with the antitrust legislation of the Progressive era, of government involvement in free markets in order to protect the economy; changes the financial system until the end of the century limiting the securities involvement of commercial banks and requiring federal insurance for bank deposits; and inspires the birth of modern economics.

      1930–36: The Dust Bowl: Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, a series of severe droughts following decades of extensive agricultural production on the prairie lands of the United States and Canada without sufficient measures to prevent erosion leads to nearly a decade of severe dust storms. Farm work in affected regions becomes impossible, and a lack of sufficient jobs available in other local industries leads to hundreds of thousands of people migrating to other states, many of them working as migrant workers.

      1933: Unemployment reaches its highest level, at 25 percent. Many of those who are employed are underpaid or unable to find work sufficient to adequately support their families. Roosevelt's First New Deal legislation sets up minimum wages and labor standards, as well as encouraging unions to work to raise wages beyond those minimums—not only to help the working class but also to increase their purchasing power in order to improve the health of the economy.

      1933: The Agricultural Adjustment Act restricts agricultural production in order to keep crop values high; to accomplish this, farmers are paid subsidies to leave portions of their fields fallow in order to maintain specific crop yields.

      1935: Roosevelt's Second New Deal establishes Social Security to defray the living expenses of retirees (in part in order to make room in the labor force for younger people) and the Works Progress Administration, a massive jobs creation program that addresses the nation's infrastructure needs by funding the construction of roads, bridges, and public buildings, as well as funding arts, media, and literacy projects.

      1936: English economist John Maynard Keynes publishes The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, his magnum opus study of market economies in light of the events of the Great Depression and the role of government in maintaining employment levels. It remains the dominant text of macroeconomics to the present day.

      1936: The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), a federation of labor unions, is formed by union organizers dissatisfied with the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

      1936: Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects employ 3.3 million American workers, a peak for the program.

      1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes 44 hours as the maximum workweek in some industries, with overtime pay of time and a half mandated for additional hours. Two years later, the maximum is reduced to 40 hours. However, so many industries, companies, and positions are exempted that only about 20 percent of the labor force is covered by the law. Labor unions criticize the bill for the exemptions and for failing to establish a limit on daily hours; big business challenges the law on constitutional grounds, but it is upheld.

      1939: About 8.5 million Americans, more than 25 percent of the labor force, belong to a union.

      1942: The Lanham Act subsidizes daycare services that provide services to women employed by war industries, briefly revitalizing American day care.

      1943: With unemployment low as a result of World War II, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is dissolved.

      1945: The California Vitamin Company introduces the first multilevel marketing plan; distributors with at least 25 regular customers are allowed to recruit new distributors and draw a 3 percent commission from those distributors’ sales.

      1947: The Taft-Hartley Act, co-sponsored by Senator Robert Taft, the leader of the congressional conservative coalition, limits the power of unions and authorizes states to pass euphemistically named “right to work” laws that prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Such laws are subsequently passed in 23 states, mainly in the south and non-coastal west.

      1950s: The average age of retirement is 67.

      1950–70: Public-sector unions grow in many states, as the state and local government workforces increase while manufacturing and agriculture decline.

      1955: The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) merge.

      1959: American sociologist Erving Goffman publishes The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, a cornerstone sociology text that depicts social interactions, including those in the workplace, as dramatic performances.

      1963: The Equal Pay Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages.

      1964: The Civil Rights Act outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex or race, ending segregation of schools and facilities.

      1970: The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that employers provide employees with a safe working environment.

      1973: The combination of skyrocketing gas prices during the first of the decade's two energy crises and competition from cheaply priced Volkswagens (from Germany) and Hondas (from Japan)—former enemy nations now robustly industrialized and economically recovered—results in a serious hit to the American auto industry, the first major American industry in the century to contend with serious foreign competition for the domestic market. Layoffs and plant closings become perennial cost-saving measures for the rest of the century, and by 1979 government intervention is necessary to save automaker Chrysler from bankruptcy. The consumer electronics and apparel industries soon face the same problems.

      1973: Despite years of lobbying by the National Organization for Women (NOW), not until the Supreme Court's ruling in Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations do newspapers stop listing jobs in separate categories for men and women.

      1978: The Federal Labor Relations Act establishes collective bargaining rights for most U.S. federal government employees.

      1979: Historian David Brody publishes “The Old Labor History and the New,” an article expounding on the field of “new labor history” that he cofounded, which goes beyond the old labor historians’ focus on unions and other organizations to delve into the whole of working-class culture.

      1979–80: With the election of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister of the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan as president of the United States, proponents of supply-side economics finally have heads of government who support their ideas: namely, to create economic growth by deregulating industries and lowering taxes, reducing government's power over business, in a reversal of the Keynesian policies that have largely been followed since the 1930s. In one form or another, this thinking dominates economic policy for the next three decades and arguably to the present; its efficacy is widely challenged in light of several economic disasters and jobs crises.

      1980: President Jimmy Carter begins deregulation of the trucking industry. In the next 20 years, truckers’ wages fall 30 percent and the number of owner-operators with health insurance plummets.

      1980s: Direct selling organizations like Amway begin to expand in Latin America and Asia, and they will expand into formerly communist eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

      1981: President Ronald Reagan, the most strongly anti-union candidate to win an election, fires nearly 13,000 striking air traffic controllers; most of the jobs are filled by permanent replacement workers, the largest hiring of replacement workers since the passage of pro-labor laws in the 1930s. More than dealing with the strike, Reagan is sending a signal about the power of organized labor and his administration's attitude toward it.

      1987: The Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement eliminates most tariffs on goods exchanged between the two countries.

      1989: Documentarian Michael Moore releases his first feature, Roger & Me, an examination of the effect on Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, of General Motors’ CEO Roger Smith's decision to close several auto plants in the city.

      1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) creates a trilateral trade bloc including Canada, the United States, and Mexico. One of the long-term effects is to contribute to the decline of American manufacturing jobs.

      2000: France adopts a 35-hour workweek in an attempt to reduce unemployment by distributing work across more jobs. Conservative politicians blame the reduction of work hours for the nation's 21st-century economic troubles.

      2000: In the United States, the average age of retirement has dropped below 62, though it is projected to rise in coming years.

      2001: By this point, 70 percent of state-owned enterprises in China have been privatized.

      2002: California becomes the first state to adopt a paid family leave program.

      2005: Seven unions break away from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

      2006: San Francisco becomes the first municipality to establish a paid sick day standard for all workers, including part-time and temporary employees.

      2008: China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopts the Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law, simplifying the settlement process for labor disputes.

      2008: New Jersey becomes the third state to adopt a paid family leave program.

      2009: According to a study by The Economist, half of the world's population is now part of the middle class, thanks to explosive growth of the middle class in many emerging countries. Effects of the growth of the middle class include an increased demand for oil (as more people use automobiles and otherwise use energy derived from fossil fuels) and a reduction of the working class. Some speculate that there may be a shortage of workers willing to work for wages low enough to keep prices of certain commodities and food staples low.

      2011: China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–15) raises the minimum wage and expands government-sponsored social welfare and health care programs.

      2011: In June, Connecticut becomes the first state to enact paid sick day legislation.

      2011: Private sector union membership declines to 7 percent. Public sector unions face their most concerted attacks in decades, after significant Republican gains in the 2010 elections.

      2011: Global income inequality reaches its greatest levels in 50 years according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study released in December, and its greatest levels in modern history according to some historians: the richest 1 percent of adults in the world own about 40 percent of the world's assets, and the three richest people in the world own more than the poorest 48 countries combined. Further, economic growth in the two decades prior to the financial crisis of 2008 was accompanied by a widening, rather than narrowing, gap between rich and poor in many countries. According to the OECD, the most important driver of this inequality is the inequality in wages and salaries. Rising unemployment worsens this, as the unemployed and underemployed compete for low-paying jobs, further driving down wages in response to the laws of supply and demand, while executives accrue bonuses and raises.

      2012: American unemployment continues its slow decline, with the long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or longer) making up 42.6 percent of the unemployed as of a March Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Most recent job gains are in the fields of temporary help services, food service (recovering from a 2010 employment low), computer systems design, and ambulatory care services and hospital work. The largest area of job loss is in retail.

      2012: A March Bureau of Labor Statistics report released after more than a year of research finds that growth in green jobs (jobs in businesses that benefit the environment or in which workers’ duties involve making business production more environmentally friendly) have been instrumental in softening the blow of the recession on the construction and manufacturing sectors.

      2012: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survives a recall election after his approval rating plummets following his handling of the 2011 protests and legislative walkout over his plan to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for government employees. About half of the money Walker raised for his recall battle came from out of state.

      2012: Adbusters, the magazine that launched the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement that, in turn, spawned numerous similar “Occupy” movements, calls for a massive Occupy protest of the 2012 G8 summit, indicating a possible alliance between Occupy and the elder antiglobalization movement.

      BillKt'epiIndependent Scholar
    • Glossary

      Absenteeism: Frequent absence from the workplace. Although this may jeopardize an employee's prospects at work, fear of that jeopardy can conversely compel sick and contagious employees to come to work and spread communicable diseases, leading to greater reductions in productivity.

      Alienation (Marx): In Karl Marx's philosophy, alienation is the estrangement of or antagonism between things that naturally belong together. In particular, the capitalist mode of production results in alienation because workers neither own the means of production nor direct their own goals and activities.

      At-will employment: A doctrine in American labor law stating that if there is no contract defining a term of employment and no collective bargaining agreement in place, employment can be terminated by either the employer or the employee without liability. There are certain exceptions established in common and statutory law, varying by state. Notable exceptions established by federal statute forbid the firing of an employee if the firing is discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap status; is a retaliatory action against certain protected actions or, to prevent employees from forming or joining a union.

      Barriers to entry: Obstacles that increase the difficulty of entering a market—whether speaking of the obstacles a company faces in entering a particular market sector (which can include economies of scale, regulatory barriers, large up-front investments, and restrictive practices of potential competitors) or the obstacles a worker faces in entering a particular job market (such as the supply/demand imbalance faced by new lawyers, the licensing requirements of commercial drivers, or the significant up-front time investment and educational requirements of a doctor).

      Blue collar: Involving manual labor. Blue-collar work may be skilled or unskilled. Originally, one of the distinctions between blue-collar and white-collar work was that blue-collar workers were more likely to be paid an hourly wage, whereas white-collar workers were more likely to be salaried. This generalization is much less true than it used to be. As the white-collar working class has expanded, so has the number of blue-collar workers who are salaried or paid by the project.

      Bonus: A payment made in addition to base salary or wages.

      Brain drain: The large-scale departure from an area of skilled, knowledgeable, or educated workers, preventing their area from benefiting from those skills. A problem for some states, where students graduating from the in-state colleges subsidized by state money depart for jobs in other states, it was also a perpetual problem for the Soviet Union, because the command economy provided too little incentive for educated workers to remain.

      Break: A portion of a shift during which employees take time off from their job. Meal breaks, for instance, are legally mandated in many states for employees who work shifts of a minimum length of time; however, these breaks may not be paid time. Coffee breaks and smoking breaks are commonly brief paid informal breaks, often not at prescribed times; in California and a small number of other states, snack breaks of at least 10 minutes are legally required for every 3.5 hours worked. In Commonwealth countries, it is still traditional to have an official tea break—sometimes two—at specific times of the day, during which employees gather for tea, accompanying snacks, and socializing.

      Bureaucracy: A hierarchy of officials (unelected, in the case of a government) who administer the rules and functions of their organization or government. Typically, bureaucracies are noted for their highly specialized hierarchies delineating specific areas of authority and responsibility, and specific procedures with which to respond to circumstances.

      Call center: A centralized location for making and receiving telephone calls. Call centers may be internal, but increasingly the term is used to refer to call centers used by companies that outsource the handling of these calls, whether outgoing calls for telemarketing, bill collection, and other purposes, or incoming calls for customer service and technical support.

      Career: The course of a person's work life, which may transpire across multiple occupations.

      Child labor: The employment of children, typically referring to children under 16 or 14. The term is used almost exclusively as a condemnation; that is, legal and presumed ethical work situations such as those of child actors or young teenagers engaged in farm work (legal in the United States for ages 12 and up) would be more likely referred to as “child or youth employment.” Historically, child labor has been significantly cheaper than adult labor and has been exploited as a cheap source of unskilled manual labor.

      Cognitive bias: A pattern of inaccurate judgment or interpretation as a result of evolved mental behavior. There are many such individually identified biases, for instance confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions; hindsight bias, the tendency to consider past events to have been predictable or obvious outcomes; and anchoring, the tendency to rely too heavily on a past experience or piece of information when making decisions. Cognitive biases can be driving forces in political rhetoric but are also important in interpersonal communication in and out of the workplace, managerial decision-making processes, and the day-to-day business of many occupations.

      Collective bargaining: Negotiations between employers and employees during which designated representatives of the employees (typically from their labor union) conduct negotiations on their behalf. The collective agreements adopted as a result of such negotiations pertain to matters such as compensation (wages, overtime, vacation days, and other paid leave), work hours, working conditions, and other issues. Often, such agreements are binding for a specific, agreed-upon period of time, at which point a new round of negotiations renews or adjusts the agreement. Strikes (or lockouts initiated by employers) may result when agreement cannot be reached.

      Command economy: An economy in which the authority to make decisions about production, distribution, and allocation of resources (including labor) is held by a central government authority. In the 21st century, with European communism having failed and the People's Republic of China adopting free market reforms, command economies are rare. Cuba and North Korea are notable examples, and Saudi Arabia's economy is heavily directed by its government.

      Constructive dismissal: The resignation of an employee because of intolerable working conditions caused by the employer's behavior; in some jurisdictions, a resignation is only a constructive dismissal if the employer intentionally or knowingly created those conditions. Such employers may be compelled to pay compensation.

      Consumer: The final user of a product or service.

      Contingent work: Work that differs significantly from the standard 20th to 21st century relationship between employee and employer in its security, especially when spoken of as a social ill. The term is not always defined the same way. It generally includes temporary jobs, but not all users of the term agree on whether to consider all part-time work as contingent work or how to classify work that is paid on a project basis. All would agree, for instance, that students’ summer jobs are contingent work—work that typically has little long-term relevance to their career. The classification of freelance or contract work is more difficult. Increases in the number of people in the workforce engaged in contingent work is seen as a social ill because of the lack of job security and the usual lack of benefits such as insurance or pensions.

      Corporate social responsibility: A business model that incorporates self-regulation. Philanthropy is the most common expression of corporate social responsibility, and reducing the corporate carbon footprint through the purchase of carbon credits is increasingly common.

      Cottage industry: An industry that consists of producers working from their homes, usually part time. The term originally referred to sewing and other household manufacturing industries, which were displaced by the textiles industry during the early Industrial Revolution. Now used loosely to refer to various part-time revenue-generating endeavors, such as selling goods online on eBay or Etsy. It typically does not include telecommuting jobs or freelance at-home work such as writing, data entry, or graphic design.

      Cultural capital: Nonfinancial assets that might promote social mobility, such as educational or intellectual resources.

      Day labor: A form of contingent work that pays for one day of labor at a time with no guarantee of further work. Employment agencies provide short-term contracts for manual labor, but day laborers may also be typists, computer programmers, telephone operators, or other workers whose labor is needed on a very short-term basis to complete a specific project.

      Deindustrialization: The reduction of industrial capacity, particularly in heavy industry or manufacturing. Deindustrialization is usually understood as a long-term decline in manufacturing (whether measured in terms of output, balance of trade of manufactured goods, or employment). Deindustrialization was a common phenomenon in many industrialized countries in the latter third of the 20th century.

      Deskilling: Reducing the amount of skilled labor used in an industry or company by introducing technologies or other means by which tasks can be performed by unskilled workers, in order to reduce labor costs (not only in the form of wages but also by reducing barriers to entry in order to reduce the bargaining power of existing employees). Not a new phenomenon, deskilling was accomplished by the introduction of the assembly line, which allowed complex goods to be assembled by workers who needed to be made familiar with only one procedure.

      Domestic worker: A domestic worker, or simply a “domestic,” works in an employer's household, typically engaged in work such as housekeeping, childc are, and/or cooking. Live-in domestics are common, with room and board provided in addition to their salary; in such cases, servants’ quarters are typically apart from the family's sleeping quarters, sometimes in a basement or attic or located near the kitchen.

      Downsizing: A common euphemism for the temporary or permanent termination of employees to increase or maintain profits or in response to a decline in business.

      Economic efficiency: A measure of the production of goods relative to resource usage.

      Emotional labor: An aspect of work in certain professions in which the display of certain emotions is part of the job—such as the “bedside manner” of health care professionals or the neutrality and objectivity of defense lawyers. Although emotional labor can be key to job success, it is less likely to be explicitly recognized as such but rarely is taught.

      Employee: A worker engaged by an employee for specific duties, in a defined relationship. Not every relationship in which a person performs labor in exchange for monetary compensation is an employee-employer relationship. For instance, a plumber hired to fix a faucet in your home is not your employee; waiters, though they take tips from the customer, are the employees of the restaurant rather than the customer; and an increasing number of workers perform their work on a freelance contract basis, remaining self-employed. One reason the distinction is important is that certain rights and benefits are typically accrued only by employees, such as health insurance coverage, pension benefits, job security, and the ability to bargain collectively.

      Entrepreneur: A person who launches or runs a business enterprise (in a leadership capacity, not merely as an investor).

      Equal opportunity employment: Employment that does not discriminate against employees on the basis of race, sex, creed, religion, color, national origin, age (for those 40 or over), a certain range of disabilities under certain conditions, family history and genetic information, or military history.

      Extractive industries: Industries engaged in extracting raw materials or other commodities from natural resources, including agriculture, fisheries, mining, and the oil industry. Extractive activities (sometimes called the primary sector) were the largest economic sector until the Industrial Revolution saw a boom in manufacturing (the secondary sector).

      Fair trade: A market-based social activist movement promoting trade practices that promote social and environmental sustainability, particularly in exports from developing countries to developed ones. Fair trade movements and product certification programs have been the most prominent in product categories where most or all of the production is done in the developing world for environmental or historical reasons, such as for coffee and tea.

      Flextime: A work schedule requiring a certain total number of hours (daily, weekly, or monthly) but giving employees more control over when those work hours are performed, than in the traditional 9-to-5 workday.

      Full employment: Theoretically, full employment would mean an employment rate of 100 percent, and some economists support this definition. Others insist that true full employment is impossible because of search unemployment and undesirable because a level of natural unemployment just over 0 percent is necessary to control inflation.

      Globalization: The increasingly dense web of globe-spanning connections between people as a result of economic activity and cultural products.

      Goldbricking: Creating the illusion of activity and productivity while actually slacking off. In white-collar workplaces, goldbricking has become more common thanks to widespread Internet access, prompting the use of proxy servers to block access to Internet resources for which there is no work-appropriate application.

      Golden parachute: Significant benefits given to an employee (traditionally an executive) upon termination, including stock options and cash bonuses—a tactic that makes it easier to compete for executives and dissuades frivolous takeovers.

      Graduate unemployment: Unemployment among workers with college or university degrees.

      Habitus: Skills, mannerisms, and dispositions that are acquired through experience.

      Headhunter: A third-party recruiter with a stable of clients consisting of businesses with job openings for which the headhunter will find suitable candidates.

      Homosocial: A same-sex social relationship; or a group, situation, or circumstance in which social interaction is principally same-sex.

      Human resources: Although the term human resources technically refers to the individuals who make up the workforce of a business, it is more typically used in reference to the human resources management (HR) division of that business: the workers responsible for hiring, training, and assessing employees; overseeing aspects of the business's organizational culture; and ensuring compliance with employment laws.

      Hysteresis: The increasing of the rate of unemployment below which inflation accelerates as a result of periods of high unemployment.

      Indentured servant: A person conducting work for a predetermined period of time—usually at least three years—during which the worker is not paid except in room, board, and similar expenses, in return for the employer paying some large expense up front—especially travel expenses. Indentured servitude was the manner by which many colonists paid for their passage to the New World.

      Industry: Businesses of like type, for example the electronics industry or the publishing industry. Industry can also be a synonym for manufacturing.

      Intern: A worker, usually young and/or a student, who receives on-the-job training. In unpaid internships, training is the only compensation; paid interns are typically paid less than their workmates.

      Job fair: An event during which employers and recruiters meet with prospective job seekers.

      Jobless recovery: A macroeconomic recovery in which the economy grows following a period of decline, while employment levels either remain low or continue to decline.

      Knowledge worker: A worker whose chief contribution is knowledge of a specific subject area and ability to apply that knowledge in meaningful ways.

      Labor force participation rate: The ratio between the number of participating workers (people who are employed or seeking employment) and the size of the population of the same age range (or other characteristics, such as gender or ethnicity). Lean: Lean production or simply lean is a term introduced in the 1990s for production practices that reduce the amount of work needed to produce value. The emphasis on value separates lean production from practices that simply maximize profit through shoddy work. Lean practices derive from the Toyota Production System, itself influenced by earlier movements like Taylorism.

      Living wage: The minimum income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs. In many parts of the world, including portions of the United States, the legally mandated minimum wage is lower than the living wage.

      Lockstep compensation: A system in which employee salaries are based purely on seniority.

      Logistics: Oversight of the movement of products from the point of origin to the point of sale, including the management of inventory, warehousing, packaging, and transportation. Although logistics can often be handled in-house, aspects of it are increasingly outsourced to other firms.

      Make-work job: A job that consumes more value (in whatever form) than it creates.

      Management: The planning, organizing, and directing of an organization, or the employees responsible for such, collectively (as in “management decided to adopt an open plan office”). Sufficiently large organizations usually organize managers into three tiers of decreasing size: low-level (supervisors, project leaders, foremen), middle level (department and branch managers), and top level (executives). Management is an increasingly diverse field, giving birth to a number of profitable cottage industries like management consulting and management information systems.

      Market economy: An economy in which decisions about production and investment are determined by supply and demand. Most real-world economies are mixed economies, containing some amount of regulation and government control, even in the most capitalist countries.

      McJob: A low-paying unskilled job with little advancement potential and little reward, such as a fast-food job. The term was popularized by Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel Generation X.

      Means of production: The instruments of labor (tools, factories, and infrastructure) and subjects of labor (raw materials and natural resources) used for the production of wealth. In a basic example, the means of production are the soil, seeds, and shovels used by laborers to grow crops. The means of production and laborers’ relationship to those means are central to the works of Karl Marx.

      Micromanagement: Management coupled with detrimentally close observation (“hovering”) of employees, or in which the manager makes or influences all the decisions involved in the process without delegating control of the details to others.

      Minimum wage: The lowest remuneration an employer may legally pay to workers. In the United States, there is a federal minimum wage, and in all but five states an additional state minimum wage. (The higher wage prevails.) Minimum wages are often set lower for tipped employees, as in the federal level, which is often cited as the main factor for tipping being ethically compulsory.

      Moonlighting: Holding a secondary job in addition to one's primary job, especially when the primary job is itself a full-time job.

      New Economy: A term popularized in the 1980s and 1990s to describe the transition from the manufacturing-based economy of the bulk of the 20th century to the service-based economy that drove the dot-com bubble.

      No call, no show: An employee's absence from work without notifying the supervisor or employer; frequently grounds for disciplinary action if there are not extenuating circumstances explaining the failure to notify.

      Nonprofit: An organization that uses revenue after expenses to further specific plans; charities, for instance, are nearly always nonprofit organizations, and instead of distributing profit, they use surplus revenue to pursue their charitable aims or bank them in order to ensure continued operations. Many nonprofits rely on unpaid or low-paid labor.

      Occupational disease: Chronic ailments that result from work activity, such as pneumoconiosis among coal miners. There is a long history of chronic ailments that are strongly associated with specific occupations, in both blue-collar and white-collar lines of work. In many cases, employees who contract such an ailment are entitled to workers’ compensation; compensation is limited or not offered in some countries, and in some cases, workers may face challenges in forcing the employer or industry to acknowledge the correlation between work conditions and the ailment.

      Onboarding: The process of getting new employees “on board,” that is, of imparting to them the necessary skills and knowledge to function in the workplace, and of familiarizing them with necessary procedures and etiquette. Onboarding is not the same as training, particularly in that it often deals with skills and procedures that are particular to the business or work environment rather than skills that are transferable across the industry. Simple examples of such information imparted through onboarding include the procedure for requesting a vacation day, information about fire and other emergency evacuation procedures specific to the building, and etiquette for common areas such as the break room—as well as orientations pertaining to sexual harassment and other conduct policies.

      Open plan: Workspace designs that favor large open spaces over enclosed offices. Open plan offices may or may not include high- or low-paneled cubicles.

      Operations management: The design and oversight of production processes and business operations.

      Opportunity cost: The cost of an action in terms of the value of mutually exclusive actions; all other things being equal, the opportunity cost of raising an acre of corn instead of an acre of soybeans is the value of the acre of soybeans. Opportunity costs can be considered in nonmonetary terms as well: before the 21st century and the advent of digital video recorders, the opportunity cost of watching one television show was the lost pleasure of watching one of the other shows airing in the same time slot.

      Organizational culture: The collective behavior of the workers in an organization, especially patterns of assumptions, habits, routines and rituals, power structures, and social rewards.

      Organized labor: Labor unions and their members.

      Outsource: To contract business functions to a third party. Though not a new phenomenon, outsourcing is especially associated with recent trends like the contracting of third-party call centers, and with the use of foreign third-party contractors (saving money by eliminating American jobs that would have been paid at a higher wage). In this sense, outsourcing is often viewed as the white-collar complement to the trend of manufacturing corporations closing down factories in the United States in favor of new factories in low-wage countries.

      Overtime: Work performed in excess of normal working hours. Most countries do not allow employers to force employees to work excessively long shifts or too many hours in a week, and exceeding a certain threshold may require compensating the employee at a higher than normal rate. In the United States, public sector employees may be given time off in exchange for overtime hours worked rather than overtime pay; that arrangement is not legal in the private sector.

      Panoptic (Foucault): Allowing the viewing of all parts. Social theorist Michel Foucault used the panopticon, a circular prison built with an outer wall and central tower to maximize surveillance of prisoners, as a metaphor for uses of power and observation. The 20th and 21st centuries have been increasingly panoptic, originally with the use of closed-circuit surveillance cameras in public and commercial spaces and more recently in the use of online tracking cookies and other information collecting and reselling.

      Parental leave: Paid or unpaid time off to care for a child (typically a newly born one), including maternity leave (the most commonly available), paternity leave, and adoption leave. The United States is one of the only countries that does not require employers to provide paid time off for new parents.

      Participating worker: A person who is employed or actively seeking employment.

      Pension: A fixed periodic amount paid to a retired worker.

      Per diem: A daily allowance given to an employee for expenses in specific circumstances, such as working away from home. From the Latin for “per day.”

      Postindustrial: The phase of economic history after a manufacturing-based economy, in which the economy has transitioned from the production of goods to the provision of services.

      Pregnancy discrimination: The unfair treatment of pregnant women by employers or potential employers, especially firing or refusing to hire them because of their pregnancy or intention to become pregnant.

      Procurement: The acquisition of goods or services, especially for use by a business.

      Profession: An occupation requiring specialized educational training. Historically, the “three learned professions” were divinity, medicine, and law, all of which required higher education at a time when few workers pursued it. By the 20th century, teaching, librarianship, social work, and health care specialties like pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine, and nursing were all considered professions. Other professions today include psychology, journalism, engineering, piloting, architecture, and medical and finance fields. In most cases, professions require some sort of licensing or certification and/or membership in a professional organization, and they may be governed by an industry or government regulatory body.

      Professionalization: The process of turning an occupation into a profession, increasing its prestige and power as well as the skill, value, and accountability of its practitioners.

      Red tape: Regulations requiring paperwork and procedures sufficient to significantly slow down a process, or even to make it complex enough to constitute a barrier to entry. In many circumstances, red tape develops naturally as the result of bodies of regulations and requirements that are developed independently without consideration for the whole procedural environment.

      Remittance: Money sent home by workers abroad. The ability to help support one's family from abroad is one reason workers migrate to developed countries; remittances play a significant part in the economies of developing countries, constituting a larger financial inflow than international aid. Most remittances are sent from the United States and Saudi Arabia. Ireland in the 19th century was heavily dependent on remittances.

      Restructuring: The reorganization of the operational or legal structures of a company. Restructuring often follows major changes to the business such as bankruptcy or a merger.

      Right to work: The human right to work and the right not to be prevented from doing so, recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      Right-to-work law: A statute that prohibits agreements between unions and employers that require membership in the union or to pay fees or dues to the union.

      Salary: Fixed payment to a worker on a periodic basis, rather than a wage paid on the basis of specific hours worked.

      Scientific management: The management approach pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the later decades of the Industrial Revolution, in which standardization of production practices, mass production, time-and-motion studies, and the elimination of redundancies were used to maximize efficiency.

      Search unemployment: The time a worker spends between jobs, searching for or transitioning to a new job. Some amount of search unemployment is inevitable: even when a worker leaves a job by choice, there may be time spent moving to a different city or waiting for an employment period to begin, as with education jobs and the school year. Because of this, even under the healthiest conditions, full employment can never be reached.

      Sector: A segment of the economy. There are various ways to speak of economic sectors. Often “sector” is used to indicate a broader category than “industry”—the “electronics industry,” but the “manufacturing sector.” Economies are also divided into the public (government-run), private, and voluntary (nonprofit) sectors, which are sometimes bound by different laws and regulations. Some economists speak of the economy as consisting of the primary (extractive), secondary (transformative—manufacturing), tertiary (service), and quaternary (information-handling) sectors.

      Self-sufficiency: Personal or collective autonomy, insofar as no support or interaction with the outside world is required for survival. Self-sufficient economies are autarkies, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban or Spain for part of Francisco Franco's reign. Self-sufficiency is a goal of some households and communes in various modern American movements. By its nature, self-sufficiency reverses the historical trend of specialization and division of labor that has intertwined people throughout the world through trade ties and other interdependencies.

      Service sector: The “soft” part of the economy, producing intangible goods known as services, including health care, telecommunications, banking and finance, education, retail, real estate, and entertainment.

      Severance package: Pay and benefits given to an employee upon ending employment, including payment for unused vacation time or sick leave. In some cases, the severance agreement may require certain things from the ex-employee as an attached condition, such as an agreement not to work for a competitor until a certain amount of time has passed or waiving the right to sue the employer.

      Sexual harassment: Inappropriate workplace behavior with a sexually charged or otherwise inappropriate component, including unwelcome comments or touching; remarks about sex, gender, or sexual persuasion; and notably any offer to exchange rewards for sexual favors.

      Sick building syndrome: A combination of ailments associated with a workplace, especially an office building, and typically caused by poor air quality, molds, industrial chemicals, and a lack of fresh air.

      Social capital: Nonphysical assets derived from social networks, relationships, and connections to other individuals and groups; a college education is cultural capital (c.f.), whereas graduating from an alma mater associated with “the old boys network” is social capital.

      Soft skills: Social skills, traits, and behaviors that contribute to the ability to effectively interact with other people, both in and outside the workplace.

      Strike: A work stoppage by employees as a form of protest.

      Subsistence agriculture: Farming focused on providing the food and other agricultural products necessary for a family to live. Subsistence farmers live using what they grow rather than exchanging it for currency to meet their needs; surpluses are often used for a small amount of trade. Although family farms still exist in Europe and North America—and as late as the 1950s, many of them continued to make their own clothes and some other goods—subsistence farming almost completely disappeared from the West in the early 20th century and today is found only in the developing world. It was the dominant human occupation from the Neolithic revolution until a few centuries ago.

      Superwoman: In sociology, “superwoman” (especially in phrases like “the superwoman complex”) refers to the idea that has developed especially since the 1970s that women's work roles have been adopted in addition to, rather than replacing, women's home roles—that the increased presence of women in the workforce has not been coupled with a reduction in the amount of work women are expected to contribute as housewives and mothers.

      Sweatshop: Legally defined as a place of employment in violation of more than one federal or state labor law pertaining to minimum wage, overtime, child labor, workers’ compensation, industry regulation, and occupational safety. In particular, the term is associated with exploitative workplaces where poor or dangerous working conditions keep costs low.

      Taylorism: See scientific management.

      Telecommuting: Working from home through the use of telecommunications; usually, this means the employee works on a computer at home, perhaps e-mailing workmates in the office or accessing information on a company server. However, some call centers divert calls to phones at employees’ homes.

      Temp: A temporary employee, working full or part time. Although seasonal work is temporary employment, use of the noun temp to refer to an employee is generally reserved for temporary workers hired through an employment agency. The cost of maintaining a temp is less than the cost of a permanent employee because of the structure of benefits and taxes. Temps by nature have no job security and little to no recourse if fired; for this reason, companies will sometimes use temps in long-term situations for which a permanent employee would be better suited.

      Tip: A gratuity paid to a service worker. Customs surrounding tips vary greatly from country to country.

      Toyota Production System (TPS): A form of scientific management practiced by the Toyota Corporation of Japan beginning around 1948. Unlike Frederick Taylor's scientific management, TPS explicitly identified mutual trust and respect for co-workers among the underlying principles of the “Toyota Way.”

      Underemployment: Employment that is insufficient for the worker's needs or desires—especially employment that offers fewer hours than the employee wishes to work, or employment for which the employee is overqualified.

      Undocumented worker: A worker in violation of immigration laws.

      Whistleblower: Someone who informs an authority or the general public about illegal activities, especially activities transpiring in their own organization.

      White collar: Refers to professional or educated work, as opposed to manual labor.

      Working poor: Workers (and their families) whose income falls below the poverty line.

      BillKte'piIndependent Scholar

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      Appendix: Labor Statistics

      • U.S. Employment and Unemployment by State and Metropolitan Area: September and October 2011, September and October 2012 1044
      International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, Adjusted to U.S. Concepts, 16 Countries, 1970 to 2011

      Table 1 Unemployment rates (in percent)

      Table 2 Unemployment rates by sex (in percent)

      Table 3 Unemployment rates for teenagers and persons ages 20 to 24 (in percent)

      Table 4 Unemployment rates for youth and adults (in percent)

      Table 5 Employment-population ratios (in percent)

      Table 6 Employment-population ratios by sex (in percent)

      Table 7 Employment shares by sector, 1980 and 2011 (in percent)

      Table 8 Labor force participation rates (in percent)

      Table 9 Labor force participation rates by sex and women's share of the labor force (in percent)

      Table 10 Inactivity rates (in percent)

      Table 11 Inactivity rates by sex (in percent)

      Table 12 Working-age population (in thousands)

      U.S. National Compensation Survey: Occupational Earnings, 2008

      Table 1 Summary: Mean hourly earnings1 and weekly hours for selected worker and establishment characteristics

      Table 2 Full-time and part-time1 workers: Mean hourly earnings2 for major occupational groups

      U.S. Employment and Unemployment by State and Metropolitan Area: September and October 2011, September and October 2012

      Table 1. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area

      U.S. Work-at-Home Patterns by Occupation, 2009

      Chart 1. More than 50 percent of full-time wage and salary1 workers with a single job worked 1 hour or less at home on days that they worked at home

      Chart 2. About 28 percent of the full-time self-employed1 who had a single job worked more than 7 hours at home on days that they worked at home

      Highlights of U.S. Women's Earnings in 2011

      Chart 1. Women's earnings as a percent of men's, full-time wage and salary workers, 1979–2011 annual averages

      Chart 2. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2011 annual averages

      Chart 3. Percent change in constant-dollar median usual weekly earnings, by educational attainment and sex, 1979–2011

      Chart 4. Distribution of full-time wage and salary employment, by sex and major occupation group, 2011 annual averages

      Table 1. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by selected characteristics, 2011 annual averages

      Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by sex, age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2011 annual averages

      Photo Credits

      VOLUME 1: Mark Scott, 191; Antoine Motte dit Falisse, 10; Senorhorst Jahnsen, 77; Stefan Meyer-Kahlen, 444; Steve Jurvetson, 149; Beatrice Murch, 117; Biswarup Ganguly, 167, 306; Gabriel Synnaeve, 459; Gene Driskell, 488; Jorge Royan, 433, 791; R. M. Calamar, 41; Robert Scoble, 89; Kamaran Najm/Metrography: 401; Think-Stock, 63, 155, 178, 224, 243, 267, 275; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17, 413; Commonwealth of Kentucky, 260; Federal Emergency Management Agency, 208, 236, 469; Focus Features, 284; Ford Motor Company, 132; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 388; Library of Congress 3, 94, 138, 293, 346, 404 (top and bottom), 422, 508; Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, 56; National Forest Service, 478; National Park Service, 453; New Jersey Governor's Office, 537; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 22; Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 358, 503; Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, 32; Russian International News Agency, 526; Sandia National Laboratory, 108; West Virginia Office of the Governor/Steven Rotsch, 202; U.S. Army, 495; U.S. Department of Agriculture, 27, 48; U.S. Department of Defense, 125, 332, 381; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 363; U.S. Department of Labor, 84, 323; U.S. Navy, 68, 160, 248; USAID, 574; UK Department for International Development, 544; Wikimedia Commons, 101, 115, 216, 314, 341, 494, 515; Woodley Wonder Works, 372.

      VOLUME 2: Scott Abelman, 706 (right); Tomas Castelazo, 767, 904; Joi Ito, 550; Jorge Royan, 785; Andrew Stern, 801; Angie Garrett, 724; Nickolas Nikolic, 920; Ann Larie Valentine, 894; Joe Mabel, 678; Meutia Chaerani, 778; Rudolf Simon, 877; Molly Theobald, 652; University of Iowa Libraries, 685; Library of Congress 565, 568, 598, 661, 929, 934; U.S. Army, 817, 1006; U.S. Department of Agriculture, 636, 753, 832, 943; ThinkStock, 739, 802, 899, 971, 998; Federal Emergency Management Agency, 630; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 887; Executive Office of Governor Rick Scott, 989; Morguefile, 824; CAW Media, 913; Lockheed Martin, 706 (left); National Institutes of Health, 643; National Park Service, 866; ThinkStock, 733, 796, 899, 971, 998; Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 620; U.S. Department of Commerce, 1003; U.S. Department of Defense, 579, 591, 951; U.S. National Archives, 609, 744, 816, 842; U.S. Navy, 636, 859; USAID, 570; Wikimedia Commons, 586, 668, 692, 698, 718, 762, 849, 946, 955, 980; Wikipedia, 962.

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