chapter  Chapter 3
15 Pages

Sociological Approaches to Stress and Labor Process Theory

ByChris L. Peterson

A broader sociological approach based on a labor process approach is introduced to explain occupational stress and ill-health: that is, stress and ill-health result from broader social processes. A number of fields of sociological research have addressed stress at work. Two are of primary concern: interactionist sociologists address individual perceptual processes in the stress response that result from social and cultural experience; and sociostructural sociologists focus on the impact of social, political, and cultural structures on stress. Following Marx there have been many writers on the capitalist system but little analysis of the labor process until the early 1970s with the work of Harry Braverman, which saw the revitalization of interest in the labor process approach. Braverman's work on the labor process and the subsequent development of labor process theory is important because his work led away from some of the earlier sociological studies which concentrated on issues related to industrial psychology of the workplace.