chapter  Chapter 5
18 Pages

Stress as Part of a Social and Political Process

ByChris L. Peterson

This chapter provides a discussion on the sociopolitical context of stress which looks at the role of the state in both contributing to a labor process conducive to stress for many workers and compensating for stress and more broadly for ill-health. It considers the state's role in establishing and maintaining class differences. Government legislation and policy establish and maintain ideology and create pathways in the capitalist labor process to support and strengthen class differences between owners/managers and workers. The chapter discusses the findings of Evan Willis and others that important social and political processes establish ill-health conditions as acceptable by insurance agencies, compensation courts, and the medical profession. This is important in explaining how an occupational illness gains support and becomes a publicly accepted and legitimate medical issue. C. R. Littler and G. Salaman support this by arguing that the process of production also includes political apparatuses which reproduce these relations of the labor process through the regulation of struggles.