Social Change and the Experience of Unemployment

By Duncan Gallie; Catherine Marsh et al. | Go to book overview

favouring government action to reduce social inequality. However, far from diverging over the period 1986 to 1987, the social attitudes of the different labour market groups became more similar, due to the growth of collectivism among those in relatively secure employment.

Overall, the fact that the deterioration in the labour market in Britain in the 1980s accentuated the cumulative character of social disadvantage did not imply growing polarization at the level of social values concerning economic redistribution. This casts doubt on the type of economic determinism that underlay such arguments. The evidence showed the importance of political factors in influencing attitudes to economic redistribution. This suggests that the effectiveness of political mobilization may be a crucial factor mediating the relationship between labour market change, social divisions, and wider social values.


NOTES
1.
These figures are based on a collapsed seven-class version of Goldthorpe's original ( 1980) eleven-class scheme, in which personal service workers (class 3B) have been classified as part of class 7:
Goldthorpe's ( 1980) 11-category Collapsed seven-class scheme
class scheme
Class Class
1 Higher service class 1 Higher service class
2 Lower service class 2 Lower service class
3A Routine non-manual 3 Routine non-manual
3B Personal service workers
4A Small proprietors without employees 4 Self-employed
4B Small proprietors with employees
4C Farmers and smallholders
5 Lower technicians/supervisors 5 Lower technicians/supervisors
6 Skilled manual workers 6 Skilled manual workers
7A Semi- and unskilled manual workers 7 Semi- and unskilled manual
7B Agricultural workers workers (including class 3B--
personal service workers)
2.
The relatively large differences between men and women in the

-335-

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