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

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview

It is sufficient here to note that, however strongly the belief in specialization may be rooted in the culture, its practical applications must meet the tests of social expediency and rough conformity with other values held in the society.

Related to the considerations just advanced is the problem of controlled specialization. It was noted that, although the division of labor requires coordination of labor, this is accomplished in an industrial plant by means of authority. Thus the general assumptions of economic individualism in regard to free and impersonal competition within a few well-recognized rules, resulting in an "automatic" judgment of appropriate position in the entire system, break down for all but a limited number of entrepreneurs and managers. . . . The industrial system has shown a considerable adaptability to noncapitalistic doctrines and types of organization, while imposing its own requirements for specialization and coordination of specialized activities.


NOTES
1.
Adapted from Emil Lederer, "Technology," Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, New York: Macmillan, 1944, Vol. 14, p. 555.
2.
Dictionary of Occupational Titles, U.S. Employment Service, Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1939, Part I, "Definitions of Titles."
3.
See William H. Stead, Carroll L. Shartle, and others, "Occupational Counseling Techniques", Their Development and Application, New York: American Book Co., 1940.
4.
Raymond S. Ward, "Occupational Relationships,"Ibid., pp. 203-205.
5.
See Sumner H. Slichter, Modern Economic Society, New York: Henry Holt and Co., Inc., 1931, pp. 105-106. The treatment of "specialization" in this book, pp. 104-121, has been drawn upon at numerous places in the present section. Slichter also quite properly notes that division of labor takes place on business and territorial lines, as well as occupational. Naturally, our primary concern is with the last, although the three are not unrelated.
6.
Ibid., p. 108.
7.
See Emile Durkheim, On the Division of Labor in Society, translated by George Simpson, New York: Macmillan, 1933, especially pp. 200-229, 353-373, and Preface to the second edition.

2. THE AMERICAN LABOR FORCE ·

Thomas C. Fichandler


Characteristics of the Labor Force

The labor force includes a great variety of different kinds of workers engaged in a wide range of jobs. Although the majority are employees working for wages or salaries at regular full-time jobs, in 1950 some eleven

____________________
NOTE: Opinions and judgments expressed in this chapter are those of the author and should not be attributed to the organization with which he is an associate.

-97-

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