In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity, including: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and the end of the Cold War? Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour,

Tasks: Divisions of Labour

Tasks: Divisions of labour

A task from a sociological perspective is not just something you choose and set yourself. At whatever age you move around in the world you face a particularly structured supply of tasks. As an actor you are confronted with a social script, from which you may choose your part and your interpretation of it. The most common designation of the set-up of the dramatis socialis personae is the ‘division of labour’.

The division of labour had a central place in pre-modern social thought. It was part of a functionalist conception of society and legitimation of order in terms of the hierarchical interdependence between those who prayed, those who fought and those who cultivated the soil. The order between the ...

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