chapter
10 Pages

Introduction

The Social and Political Context
ByChris L. Peterson

Stress and other sociopsychological states such as low self-esteem and low personal mastery can result from experiencing insufficient influence. Medical practitioners, government agencies, unions, and industry leaders have also become more aware of the incidence of occupational stress and the implications for people's health as well as productivity levels. Major impacts have resulted from changes in legislation on occupational health and safety and in compensation laws. Burawoy, a sociologist, draws on the idea of a political economy and argues that a management-controlled labor process is embedded in the workings of the broader political economy of a capitalist society. Since the early 1970s a sociological approach called the labor process approach has addressed issues of broader structural control as a cause of occupational stress. These studies emphasize labor's lack of control over the labor process as a principal cause of stress and consequent ill-health. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.