chapter  9
22 Pages

The sociology of work and employment: new perspectives on new issues

WithRichard K. Brown

The sociology of industry, under that or a similar title has been a central element in British sociology at least since the subject began to emerge in its modern form following the Second World War. British industrial sociology developed during the period of the long post-Second World War boom. In Britain, Chaney, reviewing books on consumption, suggested that 'an emphasis on industrialisation as the engine of modernity has inappropriately privileged processes of production' and went on to argue for the importance of consumption and consumer culture for an understanding of contemporary society, an argument which has been made by many others. Placing employment within a context and making comparisons with other types of work in other settings illuminates the significance of employment within society. This chapter focuses on the basic questions of how members of a society provide the goods and services they need and what are the consequences for society of the ways in which they make provision.