Technical Workers in an Advanced Society

Technical Workers in an Advanced Society : The Work, Careers and Politics of French Engineers

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First published in 1989, this book examines the work, careers and politics of French engineers and technical workers employed in traditional and high-technology settings. In the process, it critically evaluates several theories of social change and advocates a unique approach to class theory and the comparative analysis of nations. Neither owners of productive property nor wage workers performing routinised labour. Engineers occupy an ambiguous social position that has elicited a good deal of controversy about trends in their situation and ideology. Where theories of professionalism anticipate occupationally based challenges to the legitimacy of bureaucratic authority, Marxian and neo-Marxian analyses foresee class-based opposition to capitalism. Yet all these theories share a preoccupation with the effects of technology and the division of labour on social values and group identities. This book maintains that such a preoccupation obscures the significance of career situations and the distinctively national institutions that shape them. The book presents a fresh view of the interplay of occupation, class and nation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17mm | 440g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521125049
  • 9780521125048

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Technical workers in the advanced societies; 2. The companies: PAMPCO and TELECO; 3. Pierre in his own words; 4. The social meaning of technical knowledge; 5. The organisation and experience of technical work; 6. Autonomy and authority on the job; 7. Labour markets and career experiences; 8. Trade unions and professional associations; 9. Social participation, politics and class; 10. Conclusions: technology, nations and career structures; Appendix; Notes; List of references; Indexes.
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