Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia

Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia

Hardback

Edited by Vicki Smith

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  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 1192 pages
  • Dimensions: 231mm x 297mm x 114mm | 3,946g
  • Publication date: 23 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Thousand Oaks
  • ISBN 10: 145220506X
  • ISBN 13: 9781452205069
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 1,772,797

Product description

The simple act of going to work every day is an integral part of all societies across the globe. It is an ingrained social contract: we all work to survive. But it goes beyond physical survival. Psychologists have equated losing a job with the trauma of divorce or a family death, and enormous issues arise, from financial panic to sinking self-esteem. Through work, we build our self-identity, our lifestyle and our aspirations. How did it come about that work dominates so many parts of our lives and our psyche? This multi-disciplinary encyclopedia covers curricular subjects that seek to address that question, ranging from business and management to anthropology, sociology, social history, psychology, politics, economics and health.

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Author information

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. 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.

Review quote

"This internationally authored two-volume set treats an area of sociological research infrequently examined in depth by reference resources...The goal of this encyclopedia is "to comprehensively identify the numerous factors ... that create, sustain and characterize work organizations and social relations' within the US and 15 other industrial societies worldwide...This is a valuable resource for libraries supporting undergraduate and graduate programs in the social sciences and business. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers." -- R.B.M. Ridinger CHOICE "Broad and comprehensive in scope, both descriptive and analytical, Sociology of Work will be helpful to everyone striving to understand these vastly diverse and complex dimensions of the contemporary world of work." -- Sir Read A Lot September 2013, Issue #173