Changing Contours of Work : Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-12
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc

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In the highly-anticipated second edition of Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy, authors Sweet and Meiskins once again provide a rich analysis of the American workplace in the larger context of an integrated global economy. Through engaging vignettes and rich data, this text frames the development of jobs and employment opportunities in an international comparative perspective, revealing the historical transformations of work and identifying the profound effects that these changes have had on lives, jobs, and life chances. This text brings into focus the many complexities of class, race, and gender inequalities in the modern-day workplace, as well as details the consequences of job insecurity and work schedules mismatched to family needs. Throughout, strategic recommendations are offered that could help make the new economy work for us all.

Table of Contents

List of Exhibitsp. ix
About the Authorsp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Mapping the Contours of Workp. 1
Scenes From the New Economyp. 3
Culture and Workp. 7
Structure and Workp. 12
Class Structuresp. 13
Job Markets and Job Demandsp. 14
Demography and the New Labor Forcep. 17
Agency and Careersp. 19
Conclusionp. 21
New Products, New Ways of Working, and the New Economyp. 23
A Postindustrial Society?p. 24
The End of Mass Production?p. 26
New Skills?p. 30
Interactive Service Workp. 30
High-Tech Workp. 33
New Cultures of Control?p. 35
The End of Organized Labor?p. 40
A New Global Economy?p. 45
Conclusionp. 47
Economic Inequality, Social Mobility, and the New Economyp. 49
Are Economic Divides Narrowing or Widening in the United States?p. 50
Are Career Pathways Opening or Closing?p. 56
Missing Rungs in the Ladderp. 58
Entry Points: Securing the Good Job in Young Adulthoodp. 61
Is the Global Economy Becoming More Flat or Bumpy?p. 63
Conclusionp. 72
Whose Jobs Are Secure?p. 75
Risk and Work: Historical and Comparative Viewsp. 76
How Insecure Are Workers in the New Economy?p. 81
The Costs of Job Loss and Insecurityp. 87
Responding to Insecurity: Old and New Careersp. 91
Conclusionp. 96
A Fair Day's Work? The Intensity and Scheduling of Jobs in the New Economyp. 99
Time, Intensity, and Workp. 100
How Long Are We Working? Comparative Frameworksp. 103
Working Long, Working Hardp. 110
Why Are Americans Working So Much?p. 112
Nonstandard Schedules: Jobs in a 24/7 Economyp. 116
How Americans Deal With Overworkp. 119
Conclusionp. 122
Gender Chasms in the New Economyp. 125
When Did Home Work Become Nonwork?p. 126
Women's Participation in the Paid Labor Force in Americap. 129
Gender Inequalities in Compensationp. 132
Socialization, Career Selection, and Career Pathsp. 134
Interpersonal Discrimination in the Workplacep. 141
Structural Dimensions of Gender Discriminationp. 148
The Devaluation of Women's Workp. 148
How Job Designs Discriminatep. 150
Strategies to Bridge the Care Gaps: International Comparisonsp. 153
Conclusionp. 159
Race, Ethnicity, and Work: Legacies of the Past, Problems in the Presentp. 161
Histories of Race, Ethnicity, and Workp. 162
African American Exceptionalityp. 162
The Immigrant Experiencep. 164
The Magnitude of Racial Inequality in the New Economyp. 167
Intergenerational Transmission of Resourcesp. 170
Race, Ethnicity, and Economic Capitalp. 171
Race, Ethnicity, and Human Capitalp. 172
Race, Ethnicity, and Social Capitalp. 174
Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Capitalp. 176
Geographic Distribution of Race and Work Opportunityp. 178
Racial Prejudice and Discriminationp. 181
Racialized Jobsp. 184
Race, Ethnicity, and Work; Social Policyp. 185
Affirmative Actionp. 185
Immigration Policyp. 187
Conclusionp. 192
Reshaping the Contours of the New Economyp. 195
Opportunity Chasmsp. 195
Class Chasmsp. 195
Gender Chasmsp. 197
Racial and Ethnic Chasmsp. 198
International Chasmsp. 199
The Agents of Changep. 201
The Role of Individualsp. 201
The Role of Activist Groupsp. 203
The Role of Organized Labourp. 205
The Role of Employersp. 209
The Role of Governmentp. 213
The Role of International Organizationsp. 218
Conclusionp. 222
Appendix: Legislative and Regulatory Timeline of Worker Rights and Protections in the United Statesp. 225
Referencesp. 231
Indexp. 265
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