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Contemporary Social Problems Week 4

by: Katerina Kushla

Contemporary Social Problems Week 4 SO 1103

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > Sociology > SO 1103 > Contemporary Social Problems Week 4
Katerina Kushla
GPA 4.0

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Chapter 7 Notes Sept. 7-9, 2016
Contemporary Social Problems
Laura Jean Kerr
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katerina Kushla on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SO 1103 at Mississippi State University taught by Laura Jean Kerr in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Social Problems in Sociology at Mississippi State University.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Chapter 7: Work and Unemployment Week 4 9/7/16-9/9/16 Institution Economic Institution: The structure and means by which a society produces, distributes, and consumes goods and services The Global Context: The New Global Economy Global Economy: an interconnected network of economic activity that transcends national borders and spans the world The 2007 global financial crisis, which originated in the United States and spread throughout the world, illustrates the globalization of the economic institution. Capitalism Economic system in which private individuals or groups invest capital to produce goods and services to sell for a profit in a competitive market The U.S. follows the capitalistic philosophy Socialism Economic system in which the state owns the means of production (factories, machinery, land, stores, offices, etc.) and oversees the distribution of goods and services * more like philosophies than true systems McDonaldization of the Workplace McDonaldization: Sociologist George Ritzer uses this term to describe hot the fast food industry applies to work: 1. Efficiency. Tasks are completed efficiently 2. Calculability. Size, cost, and time are more important than quality 3. Predictability. Products are standardized 4. Control. (Through technology) Automation replaces human labor Structural-Functionalism - Society is made of interconnected parts that work together (machine or body) - Functional and dysfunctional social stability - Manifest (intended) and latent (unintended) functions - Economy makes society possible by distributing goods and services - Work gives people income - Work gives people self-fulfillment (status and role) Conflict - Society is made of different groups with different interests - Competition for power and resources - Marx: class inequality from economic system - Non-Marx: groups with different values - Control of the economy allows groups to maintain positions - Work alienates individuals - Corporatocracy: A system of government that serves the interests of corporations and involves ties between government and business Alienation Alienation: the condition that results when workers perform repetitive, monotonous work tasks, and they become estranged from their work, the product the create, other people, and themselves Four Components: - Powerlessness - Meaninglessness - Normlessness - Self-Estrangement Symbolic Interactionism - Society is made through small group interaction where definitions and meanings are created, shared, and maintained - Society must recognize a problem (Blumer) - “Problems” are social constructed through interpretation (social constructionism) - The workplace is a key area of social interaction - Definitions and meanings influence how employees handle workplace problems - Definitions and meanings influence how employees perceive their work Problems of Work and Unemployment - The long-term unemployment rate refers to the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more - Job exportation: relocation jobs to other countries where products can be produced more cheaply - Outsourcing: a business subcontracting with a third party to provide business services - Automation: replacement of human labor with machinery and equipment, also contributes to unemployment o Unemployment, long term unemployment, and underemployment  Automation  Outsourcing  Job Exportation o Families o Forced Labor and Chattel Slavery o Sweatshops o Child labor o Health and Safety  OSHA  Job Stress  Toxic Workplace  Job Burnout o Work Life Conflict Child Labor - Child labor involves a child performing work that is hazardous, that interferes with a child’s education, or that harms a child’s health or physical, mental, social, or moral development - Child labor is involved in many of the products we buy, wear, use, and eat - Child laborers work long hours with few (or no) breaks or days off, often in unsafe conditions


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