The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 27
Work and Employment
Bill Martin

At the end of the 1980s, a confident reviewer might have surveyed the record of Australian sociological research on work and employment and concluded that its cumulative achievements were considerable and that the field had a promising future. Indeed, the range of significant monographic studies of various aspects of work displayed impressive theoretical concerns and advances, alongside a very solid empirical base. Claire Williams (1981) had turned a study of work in a Queensland coalmine into a path-breaking treatise on the complexities of gender and class dynamics in the interface between work, family life and community. Roy Kriegler (1980) worked in a Whyalla shipyard and laid bare the myriad oppressions and indignities that went to make up class authority in an Australian workplace. Evan Willis (1983) used a quasiMarxist framework to analyse the dominance of the medical profession in the Australian health system, emphasising particularly the role of state regulation. Other works have included Bob Connell's Teacher's Work (1985), which examined public and private schools, exploring teaching as profession, craft, and labour process, and placing it in the school environment with relationships to children and families. Williams (1988) made another major contribution, showing the complexities of the work and class situations of employees who were 'in between' – technicians, flight attendants and bank workers. Ann Game and Rosemary Pringle's highly influential Gender at Work (1983) was followed by Pringle's powerful demonstration of the deep implication of sexuality in the operation of day-to-day workplace patriarchy (Pringle 1988). Jock Collins (1988) and Constance Lever-Tracy and Mike Quinlan (1988) developed competing, but powerful accounts of the postwar wave of migration to Australia, the patterns of ethnic segmentation that resulted and the forces that generated it.

Into the early 1990s, attempts to synthesise knowledge began to appear (Probert 1989; Williams with Thorpe 1992), and one would have guessed that researchers were ready to consolidate the advances of the 1980s and move on to systematically develop the field. However, recent commentaries suggest that the 1990s appear more as a period of 'fragmentation', even 'dissipation' in Australian sociology of work (Campbell 2002; Harding and Sappey 2002). One reason for this impression is undoubtedly that a tide of workplace and labour-market change overtook the settled patterns of earlier decades, and researchers focused their attention on these changes. Indeed, new attention to such

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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