Work: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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The image of a job captures our imagination from an early age, usually prompted by the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'. Work -- paid, unpaid, voluntary, or obligatory -- is woven into the fabric of all human societies. For many of us, it becomes part of our identity. For others it is a tedious necessity. Living is problematic without paid work, and for many it is catastrophic.
Steve Fineman tells the fascinating story of work - how we strive for security, reward, and often, meaning. Looking at how we classify 'work'; the cultural and social factors that influence the way we work; the ethics of certain types of work; and the factors that will affect the future of work, from globalization to technology, this Very Short Introduction considers work as a concept and as a practical experience, drawing upon ideas from psychology, sociology, management, and social history.
Men’s work, women’s work The Industrial Revolution triggered a reshaping of the sexual demographics of the workplace. In the physically lighter trades, women were a cheaper and more flexible option than men, valued for their ‘natural’, home-honed skills of fine hand-work, well suited to textile, pottery, and clothing manufacture. The emerging industries also provided women with an alternative to domestic service (or the black economy of sweatshops and prostitution). Most women, nevertheless,
privilege. On returning to work in her father’s jewellery shop in Jeddah, one of my own students, now familiar with Westernized customer service, was obliged to withdraw to a backroom each time a male customer entered the shop. ‘I’m now rather confused about all this’, she confessed. 7. Men’s work in the early twentieth century The jobs’ divide Sex segregation may not be part of everyday life in the West, but major sectors of the job market are informally divided by gender, both horizontally
where male guests, should they feel inclined, are liberated from their normal sexual constraints. A correspondent in the Guardian newspaper dryly captures the scene: ‘The life of a hotel maid is not an easy one, with naked men flaunting their wares, verbal abuse, lecherous suggestions and personal hygiene standards that would shame a chimp.’ There are accounts of room-cleaning staff retaliating when sexually harassed, only to be disciplined by their employer for their actions. Others can become
1070. R. Kosugi, ‘Youth Employment in Japan’s Economic Recovery: “Freeters” and “NEETs” ’, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (11 May 2006). M. Zielenziger, Shutting out the Sun: How Japan Created its Own Lost Generation (New York: Random House, 2006). On underemployment: D. C. Maynard and D. C. Feldman, Underemployment: Psychological, Economic, and Social Challenges (New York: Springer, 2011). On internship: J. Harker, ‘What Should Work Experience Look Like?’ The Guardian (24 February
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