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Thanks to William Finlay at the University of Georgia for his review in Accounts, the newsletter of the Economic Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.
As a sociologist who went to graduate school in the late 1970s to study work and organizations— back then the term “economic sociology” was not in widespread use as a label and it was well before an ASA section on Economic Sociology had been formed—it is hard to avoid the feeling that the ensuing thirty-plus years have largely upended much of what we thought we knew about economic behavior and institutions. In graduate school we learned about a world dominated by large, stable corporations who provided careers for their white-collar employees (the much-analyzed “internal labor markets”) and negotiated with their blue-collar employers who were organized into relatively powerful unions (although they were not quite as strong as their European counterparts). Of course, we also knew that not everyone enjoyed the benefits of a secure career, good wages, or a guaranteed pension—theliterature on the dual economy or dual labor markets pointed out that workers in the periphery sector of the economy, who were disproportionately female, minority, and immigrant, did not share equally in the long post- World War II boom. But today it makes little sense to speak of privileged workers in the core sector, when so many of their erstwhile privileges have apparently vanished along with the terms core and periphery.
Continue reading at accounts: