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Changing Contours of Work
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Changing Contours of Work
Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy

Third Edition


January 2016 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Proud sponsor of the 2019 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

In the Third Edition of Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy, Sweet and Meiksins once again provide a rich analysis of the American workplace in the larger context of an integrated global economy. Through engaging vignettes and rich data, this text frames the development of jobs and employment opportunities in an international comparative perspective, revealing the historical transformations of work (the “old economy” and the “new economy”) and identifying the profound effects that these changes have had on lives, jobs, and life chances. The text examines the many complexities of race, class, and gender inequalities in the modern-day workplace, and details the consequences of job insecurity and work schedules mismatched to family needs. Throughout the text, strategic recommendations are offered to improve the new economy.
 
List of Exhibits
 
About the Authors
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Chapter 1: Mapping the Contours of Work
Scenes From the New Economy

 
Culture and Work

 
Structure and Work

 
Agency and Careers

 
 
Chapter 2: New Products, New Ways of Working, and the New Economy
A Postindustrial Society?

 
The End of Mass Production?

 
New Skills?

 
New Cultures of Control?

 
The End of Organized Labor?

 
A New Global Economy?

 
 
Chapter 3: Economic Inequality, Social Mobility, and the New Economy
Are Economic Divides Narrowing or Widening in the United States?

 
Are Career Pathways Opening or Closing?

 
Is the Global Economy Becoming More Flat or Bumpy?

 
 
Chapter 4: Whose Jobs Are Secure
Risk and Work: Historical and Comparative Views

 
How Insecure Are Workers in the New Economy?

 
The Costs of Job Loss and Insecurity

 
Responding to Insecurity: Old and New Careers

 
 
Chapter 5: A Fair Day's Work? The Intensity and Scheduling of Jobs in the New Economy
Time, Intensity, and Work

 
How Much Should We Work? Comparative Frameworks

 
Why Are Americans Working So Much?

 
Nonstandard Schedules: Jobs in a 24/7 Economy

 
How Americans Deal With Overwork

 
 
Chapter 6: Gender Chasms in the New Economy
When Did Home Work Become Nonwork?

 
Women’s Participation in the Paid Labor Force in America

 
Gender Inequalities in Compensation

 
Socialization, Career Selection, and Career Paths

 
Interpersonal Discrimination in the Workplace

 
Structural Dimensions of Gender Discrimination

 
Strategies to Bridge the Care Gaps: International

 
 
Chapter 7: Race, Ethnicity, and Work: Legacies of the Past, Problems in the Present
Histories of Race, Ethnicity, and Work

 
Magnitude of Racial Inequality in the New Economy

 
Intergenerational Transmission of Resources

 
Geographic Distribution of Race and Work Opportunity

 
Racial Prejudice and Discrimination

 
Racialized Jobs

 
Race, Ethnicity, and Work: Social Policy

 
 
Chapter 8: Reshaping the Contours of the New Economy
Opportunity Chasms

 
Agents of Change

 
 
Appendix: Legislative and Regulatory Time Line of Worker Rights and Protections in the United States
 
References
 
Index

Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy provides numerous insights into the new world of work and is a prolific source of material for class discussion, further research, and written assignments.”

Teaching Sociology

Changing Contours of Work is an engaging text that is of significant value in courses on the sociology of work.”

Journal of Family Theory & Review

“With a captivating dose of realism and critical inquiry, the authors have done an excellent job of introducing some of the most troubling labour market issues of our time. It is an excellent source for upper level undergraduate students and those trying to make sense of recent transformations in the world of work and beyond.”

Work, Employment and Society

Changing Contours of Work inspires students to acquire a sociological imagination in the way they view the labor force, understanding the way that personal troubles with income or employment are linked to public issues. 

Changing Contours of Work provides a thorough overview of the structure of the new economy and the way opportunities and rewards are unequally divided across the lines of class, gender, and race.Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of the book,however, is the ease by which Sweet and Meiksins integrate classical sociology with contemporary studies of stratification in a way that is extremely accessible to undergraduate students.”

William J. Scarborough
university of Illinois at Chicago
American Sociological Association

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 6


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Stephen A. Sweet

Stephen Sweet is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at Ithaca College and formerly the associate director of the Cornell Careers Institute, a Sloan Center for the Study of Working Families. He has written a number of articles on the challenges confronting working families, focusing on the issues of concern to dual career couples across the life course. His studies have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New Directions in Life Course Research, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Innovative Higher Education, The International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Journal of... More About Author

Peter F. Meiksins

Peter Meiksins is a Professor of Sociology at Cleveland State University. He is the author of many articles on the sociology of work, including studies of the work experiences of engineers and part-time work in professional technical occupations and essays on labor process theory, professional work in comparative perspective, and contemporary labor relations. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Work and Occupations, Theory and Society, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Work, Employment and Society, and Sociological Quarterly. He is the author of Putting Work in Its Place: A Quiet Revolution (with Peter Whalley) and... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781483358253
£26.99