"This volume provides a solid, concise overview of the current state of work, mostly based on US patterns but with some comparative information."
"Changing Contours of Work, by Sweet and Meiksins, represents a truly excellent and synthetic sociological guide for understanding the historical and contemporary interplay of work, inequality, and human dignity. Moving beyond simplistic conceptions of “old” versus “new” economy, the authors demonstrate, through careful aggregate analyses and carefully selected anecdotes, the ways in which old and new work forms continue to intersect, how various status groups continue to be differentially impacted, and why so many workers in the current era face job insecurity, overwork, and maltreatment. The well-articulated position of the authors regarding sorely needed challenges to these trends, and where such challenges might arise, are equally important and deserving of attention from social scientists, students, and policymakers alike"
Vincent J. Roscigno, Ohio State University
and author of The Voice of Southern Labor
and The Face of Discrimination: How Race and Gender Impact Work and Home Lives
(Rowman & Littlefield).
"Changing Contours challenges the widespread notion of post-industrialism, offers a careful analysis of demographics as they intersect a changing labor market, and devotes an entire chapter to a broad discussion of working time. This is a book that students will find informative, and possibly unsettling, but in the end they'll find hope in the possibilities for agency and change"A comparative review of the historical transformations in work
-Cynthia Negrey, University of Louisville
Opening with engaging vignettes of four workers, Jamal (a low-wage worker), Eileen (a high-powered professional), Dan (a displaced autoworker), and Chi-Ying (a young, Chinese, employee), Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy
frames the development of jobs and employment opportunities in an international comparative perspective, revealing the historical transformations of work and examining the often profound effects that these changes have had on employee satisfaction. This text provides a rich analysis of the overtime-laden American workplace in the larger context of an integrated global economy and offers strategic recommendations for making the new economy work for us all. Key Features
· Provides international comparative perspectives on work and work prospects throughout the text, such as specific policies already in place in Europe that can lead to improved existences for workers and their families
· Considers the structure of today’s work environment and its implications for fulfillment on and off the job
· Highlights the impact of socialization, social networks, and structural forms of discrimination
· Addresses inequalities and divides, such as race, ethnicity, gender, and class, illuminating the forces that separate workers from opportunity
· Engages students with vignettes, bringing to life the problem of opportunity chasms addressed in each chapter Intended Audience
This text is intended for upper-level undergraduate courses such as Sociology of Work, Social Inequality, Work and Family, and Sociology of Organizations in departments of sociology, economics, and international relations. It will also be a useful tool for consumers, employers, and governmental organizations interested in maximizing the efficacy of the new economy. (20071029)