Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview
Save to active project
(unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago, 1956). Many old-timers, however, both in schoolteaching and in the mills, continue to resist retirement, their grumpy habituation to work being the only structure their lives have. Cf. Eugene A. Friedmann and Robert J. Havighurst, The Meaning of Work and Retirement, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954.
Cf. E. L. Ullman, "Amenities as a Factor in Regional Growth," Geographic Review, Vol. 44, 1954, p. 119. Among less mobile or redecoratable indus- tries there is some resurgence today of management-sponsored recreation programs, which received a big boost during the "progressive management" movement of the 1920's. Indeed, what was worth a couple of chapters three decades ago (e.g., Lee K. Frankel and Alexander Fleisher, The Human Factor in Industry, New York: Macmillan, 1920, Chaps. 9 and 10) has now become a speciality for submanagers (e.g., Jackson M. Anderson, Industrial Recreation, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955) and one in which unions are beginning to stake out their own claims.
Fred H. Blum, Toward a Democratic Work Process, New York: Harper, 1953, p. 97.


E. A. Friedmann and R. J. Havighurst

The Older Worker and the Meaning of Work

The . . . five functions [of work]--income, regulating of life-activity, identification, association, and meaningful life-experience--are . . . found in any situation defined by society as a "job."1 . . . [Obviously work] does not have the same meaning for all individuals. We can gather this impression merely by listening to people talk about their jobs--the insurance salesman telling about his troubles and excitement in "cracking" a tough customer, the executive describing the responsibilities and worries of his job, the assembly-line worker complaining about the monotony of his job yet bragging that he is the best worker in the plant. Meanings vary as jobs vary and as people vary. Yet there are some common threads which run through the diversity.

The significance of the job, as interpreted by the worker himself, can be regarded as varying in two fundamental ways. First, it differs according to the particular recognition the person has made of the part which the job has played in his life. Certainly, we can expect that in our culture practically all workers recognize their job as a way of earning a living. However, we may also discover that many individuals have come to recognize other functions of the job as well. For example, some may view it in terms of the prestige (or lack of prestige) it gives them in the community; for others it may be the chief source of contact they have with the outside world, or it may be regarded as the locus of association with friends and fellow workers. The recognitions made of the functions of


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 618

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?