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Advanced Introduction to the Sociology of Work

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Advanced Introduction to the Sociology of Work

9781839101625 Edward Elgar Publishing
Amy S. Wharton, Professor of Sociology Emerita, Washington State University, US
Publication Date: June 2022 ISBN: 978 1 83910 162 5 Extent: c 152 pp
This Advanced Introduction examines the economic, social, and political conditions that have shaped the 21st century workplace in wealthy democracies, highlighting the changes in work since the 1970s which have produced the ‘new economy’. Amy S. Wharton illuminates important aspects of today’s workplace, including the service economy, customer-facing jobs, the transformative effects of digital platforms, and the ‘opening’ of the employment relationship.

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Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

This Advanced Introduction examines the economic, social, and political conditions that have shaped the 21st century workplace in wealthy democracies, highlighting the changes in work since the 1970s which have produced the ‘new economy’. Amy S. Wharton illuminates important aspects of today’s workplace, including the service economy, customer-facing jobs, the transformative effects of digital platforms, and the ‘opening’ of the employment relationship.

Key Features:

• Analysis of algorithms and the gig economy in the broader context of workplace change
• Insight into the interconnections between gender, work, and family, as well as the sources of stability and change in these relations over time
• Understanding changes in the spatial, physical, and temporal aspects of work and their impacts on workers and families
• Foregrounds inequality, using the intersectional lenses of race, class, gender, and citizenship to explore this issue

Revealing the continuities and discontinuities between the workplace of the past and the present, this Advanced Introduction will be a valuable guide for sociology researchers and advanced students. Business scholars, students and leaders will also benefit from its discussion of platform-based service work and the rise of nonstandard, contingent, and temporary jobs.
Critical Acclaim
‘The prose is pitched perfectly for advanced undergraduates and was highly engaging for me as well. It feels fresh and up to date. Data-rich sections include the precarity of work, the digital economy, gender at work in international context, and the implications of COVID-19. At the same time, the chapters are firmly rooted in the historical development of capitalism and informed by sociological theory.’
– Mary Blair-Loy, University of California San Diego, US

‘Wharton’s Advanced Introduction to the Sociology of Work hits the sweet spot most instructors look for – historically grounded political economic analyses coupled with crystal clear contemporary relevance to our students. While expected topics like emotional labor in service work and work–family conflicts are present, so too are new ones like the impact of financialization on employment and the consequences for workers of algorithmic control over their labor. Students will encounter a broad sociological perspective on the labor process and be enabled and encouraged to visualize and discuss their futures as employees and as members of households.’
– Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, University of Massachusetts, US
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