The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

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

apparently positive experiences of many private-sector managers or new global consultants and image-makers (Wajcman and Martin 2001; Wood and Connell 2002) and the much more negative ones of, say, women in routine service-sector work?

The current literature is almost devoid of research focused on aspects of how people's experiences of work and the labour market unfold over time. Virtually all research on such issues relies on the recall of experience by members of cross-sectional samples. Longitudinal research on aspects of work and the labour market may offer important new insights into the new world of work, including essential elements in understanding the factors affecting variations in people's experiences.While studies like the recently begun Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) study may offer some possibilities here (Wooden and Watson 2001), data generated through an explicit focus on issues arising from the existing sociological literature on work and employment is likely to be essential. Greater coordination and cooperation between sociologically influenced researchers in the field may pay major dividends. At present, research is often disparate, arising from varying concerns, and researchers only comprehend their mutual interests in retrospect. Larger, more coordinated research efforts may also counteract the worsening institutional position of sociologists of work, and allied researchers, who often face a university environment largely unsympathetic to the fundamental, but hardly shiny and new, issues with which they are concerned.

At the same time, the growing body of research on various aspects of the embodiment of the social experience of work needs to be integrated into research on the changing world of work.This process has been started in the literature on some aspects of women's employment, such as the relation between work and family. However, some more overarching integration may be possible using contemporary theoretical approaches. For example, much recent workplace change may be susceptible to analysis in terms of a newly revivified and powerful social process of 'individualisation' (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2001).Yet there have been only limited attempts to understand how such a process develops alongside the strikingly persistent aspects of the embodiment of social experience that are revealed by feminist perspectives and those focused on other aspects of embodiment. Understanding the complex intertwining of such dynamic forces as individualisation with those most resistant to change, such as some aspects of embodiment, is a challenging issue for the sociology of work and employment in Australia. Here, too, the benefits of longitudinal research and research on the 'winners' in the new world of work would undoubtedly pay dividends. Nevertheless, some sense of fragmentation is likely to remain in the field, if only because researchers will uncover new and unanticipated aspects of the rapidly changing experience of work.


Notes
1
There is a further possible reason for the sense of fragmentation in the Australian sociology of work of the past fifteen years or so, one that affects all fields in sociology.This is, of course, the increasingly precarious state of the discipline of sociology in Australian universities.With many departments losing close to half their permanent academic positions, and most being

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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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