Patricia A. Roos (as of Feb. 14, 2006)

Sociology of Work (920:632)
Spring 2006

Contact Info:
LSH A-342; phone: (732) 445-5848
Office hours: Mondays & Thursdays, 12 to 1 p.m.
roos@rutgers.edu

 

I. Course Description:

This course is intended to be an introduction to the sociology of work. Its focus is on the relationship between work and equality/inequality, specifically how inequality is produced and reproduced in the workplace. We begin in Unit I with some of the classical and contemporary theorists of work. We then turn to stories about class and inequality, focusing on how class (as measured by education, occupation, earnings, and wealth) structures our opportunities to achieve the American dream of upward mobility. Getting down to specifics, in Unit II we review workplace transitions, in demographics, occupations, and the economy. In Unit III, we focus on recent research in the sociology of work, specifically moving beyond traditional human capital explanations for workplace inequality to focus on more subtle mechanisms of inequity. Finally, in Unit IV, we turn to another important and burgeoning subfield within the sociology of work, work and family.


II. Required Books:

There are seven required books for the class. During the other weeks, we will read articles, which I will make available online. The following books (some trade books, others academic) are available at the Livingston Bookstore, and are listed in the order in which we will read them:

New York Times. 2005. Class Matters. New York: Henry Holt & Company.

Vicki Smith. 2001. Crossing the Great Divide: Worker Risk and Opportunity in the New Economy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Beth Shulman. 2005. The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans. New York: The New Press.

Malcolm Gladwell. 2005. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. New York: Little, Brown & Company.

Mary Blair-Loy. 2005. Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Joan Williams. 2001. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It. New York: Oxford University Press.

Mary L. Gatta. 2005. Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development. New York: Lexington Books.


III. Expectations:

This is a seminar, not a lecture course. You are expected to complete all the required reading prior to class, and participate actively in class discussions. Each week, I expect you to come with comments/questions on one or more of the readings. Your grade will be based on:

1) Class participation, including written commentary (20 percent)

Everyone is required to do all the reading. Depending on the size of the class, one or more class members will facilitate each day's discussion. Facilitators will bring in a set of written questions, making copies available for each member of the class.

2) Two reaction papers (3-4 pages maximum) (due March 2nd and March 30th; 20 percent each)

In these papers, I want you to ask and answer a question derived from your readings to date. The first reaction paper should address a question of interest from Unit I (Introduction) or Unit II (Demographic, Occupational, Economic Transitions) (see course outline below). The second reaction paper should address a question of interest from Unit III (Work and Inequality).

Follow your interests here, be creative. What struck you as most interesting about one or more of these readings? Did they raise a question to which you'd like an answer? Are there problems you see with the author's argument? Are there subthemes in one or more of the readings you'd like to explore in greater depth? The question you ask should be brief and clear. Whatever question you ask, your answer should be an analytic essay. For advice on how to write an analytic essay, see Clarke, "On Writing and Criticism." Make an argument that clearly and systematically answers the question you have raised. An example of a question might be: "Have the economic transitions of the post-World War II U.S. exacerbated, or narrowed, class inequality?" Alternatively, you might want to ask a more conceptual question, one you think through logically, something that might build on previous literature, or something you'd like to examine in a longer essay.

3) Final paper (20 to 25 pp. maximum), on a relevant topic of your choice (due May 4th; 40 percent) [Note: this can be related to one of your reaction papers. A written description of your paper topic with 2-3 references is due Feb. 16th. Clear your topic with me ahead of time. Feel free to adapt this requirement to work on a relevant qualifying paper or dissertation chapter.]

Tentative due dates:

February 16: Paper topic, with 2-3 references
March 2: Reaction paper #1
March 30: Reaction paper #2
April 27: Class presentations
May 4: Final paper

We have only 14 meetings, 2 of which are given over to an introduction and class presentations. Attendance and participation are required. The norm for graduate courses is: thou shalt not miss class!


IV. Course Outline:


Unit I: Introduction

Week 1 (Jan. 19): Overview and introduction

We'll discuss expectations, readings, proposed paper topics, and assign facilitators for readings. Please bring your calendars and come prepared to discuss possible paper topics.

Week 2 (Jan. 26): Conceptual Background: Classical and Contemporary Theorists

Karl Marx, "Alienated Labor" (pp. 44-51)
Max Weber, "Bureaucracy" (pp. 51-56)
Frederick Winslow Taylor, "Fundamentals of Scientific Management" (pp. 57-65)
Sanford Jacoby, "The Way It Was: Factory Labor Before 1915" (pp. 2-17)
Harry Braverman, "The Division of Labor" (pp. 65-69)
Arlie Hochschild, "The Managed Heart" (pp. 69-78)

[all selections from: Amy S. Wharton. 2006. Working in America: Continuity, Conflict, and Change. Third edition. New York: McGraw Hill.]

Recommended:

Paula England and Nancy Folbre. 2006. "Capitalism and the Erosion of Care." Pp. 496-510 in Amy S. Wharton (ed.), Working in America: Continuity, Conflict, and Change. Third edition. New York: McGraw Hill.

Week 3 (Feb. 2): Living with Inequality: Work, Class, and the American Dream

New York Times. 2005. Class Matters. New York: Henry Holt & Company.

Paul Krugman. 2002. "For Richer: How the Permissive Capitalism of the Boom Destroyed American Equality." New York Times, October 20.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/20050515_CLASS_GRAPHIC/index_01.html
[check the class status of your family of origin]

Recommended:

David Ellwood. 2000. "Winners and Losers in America: Taking the Measure of the New Economic Realities." Pp. 1-41 in David T. Ellwood, Rebecca M. Blank, Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse, William A. Niskanen, and Karen Lynn-Dyson (eds.), A Working Nation: Workers, Work, and Government in the New Economy. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Elizabeth Warren. 2006. "Middle Class on the Precipice: Rising Financial Risks for American Families." Harvard Magazine, January-February.


Unit II: Demographic, Occupational, and Economic Transitions

Week 4 (Feb. 9): "Structural Mismatch": Changing Workplace Demographics/Occupations

Phyllis Moen and Patricia Roehling. 2005. The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (Ch. 1 only)

Robert Orrange. Aspiring Professionals Define Work, Family, and Leisure: Life Politics at the Dawn of Risk Society. Unpublished book. (Chs. 2-3)

Barbara Reskin and Patricia Roos. 1990. Job Queues, Gender Queues: Explaining Inroads into Male Occupations. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. (Chapter 1, Chapter 3; recommended: Chapter 2)

Mary Gatta and Patricia Roos. 2005. "Rethinking Occupational Integration." Sociological Forum 20:369-402.

Recommended:

Barry Bluestone and Stephen Rose. 1997. "Overworked and Underemployed: Unraveling an Economic Enigma." The American Prospect 8:March 1-April 1.

Jerry A. Jacobs and Kathleen Gerson, with Janet C. Gornick. 2004. "American Workers in Cross-National Perspective." Pp. 119-47 in Jerry A. Jacobs and Kathleen Gerson (eds.), The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Week 5 (Feb. 16): Economic Transitions: Jobs, Firms, Workers

Annette Bernhardt, Martina Morris, Mark S. Handcock, and Marc A. Scott. 2001. Divergent Paths: Economic Mobility in the New American Labor Market. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. (Chs. 1, 4, 7)

Vicki Smith. 1997. "New Forms of Work Organization. Annual Review of Sociology 23:315-39.

Arne Kalleberg. 2000. "Nonstandard Employment Relations: Part-Time, Temporary, and Contract Work." Annual Review of Sociology 26:341-65.

Paul DiMaggio. 2001. The Twenty-First-Century Firm. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (Ch. 1)

Thomas Friedman. 2005. "It's a Flat World After All." New York Times. April 3, 2005.

Matt Bai. 2005. "New World Economy." New York Times, December 18.

Wal-Mart Stores. 2005. "Board of Directors FY06: Benefits Strategy." (skim)

Recommended:

Charles Fishman, The Wal-Mart Effect (WNYC, Leonard Lopate Show, 33 min.)

Leslie McCall. 2001, Complex Inequality: Gender, Class and Race in the New Economy. New York: Routledge.

Harriet B. Presser. 2003. Working in a 24/7 Economy: Challenges for American Families. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Week 6 (Feb. 23): Economic Transitions: Increased Worker Risk

Vicki Smith. 2001. Crossing the Great Divide: Worker Risk and Opportunity in the New Economy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Week 7 (March 2): Economic Transitions: Low-Wage Work

Beth Shulman. 2005. The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans. New York: The New Press.

Arne Kalleberg, Barbara F. Reskin, and Ken Hudson. 2000. "Bad Jobs in America: Standard and Nonstandard Employment Relations and Job Quality in the United States." American Sociological Review 65:256-278.


Unit III: Work and Inequality

Week 8 (March 9): Mechanisms of Inequality I: Unconscious Prejudice?

Malcolm Gladwell. 2005. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. New York: Little, Brown & Company.

Virginia Valian. 1998. "Sex, Schemas, and Success: What's Keeping Women Back?" Academe. September-October: 50-55.

Check your implicit attitudes (Harvard's Project Implicit , and click on "demonstration")

Recommended:

Kenji Yoshino. 2006. "The Pressure to Cover." New York Times Magazine, January 15.

Mitchell L. Stevens. 2006. "The Organizational Mechanics of Selective College Admissions." Unpublished paper, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University.


Week of March 16: Spring Break!


Week 9 (March 23): Mechanisms of Inequality II: Gender

Patricia A. Roos and Barbara F. Reskin. 1984. "Institutional Factors Contributing to Sex Segregation in the Workplace." Pp. 235-60 in Barbara F. Reskin (ed.), Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Cecilia L. Ridgeway. 1997. "Interaction and the Conservation of Gender Inequality: Considering Employment." American Sociological Review 62:218-35.

Laurie A. Rudman and Stephen E. Kilianski. 2000. "Implicit and Explicit Attitudes toward Female Authority." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 26:1315-28.

Laurie A. Rudman and Peter Glick. 2001. "Prescriptive Gender Stereotypes and Backlash toward Agentic Women." Journal of Social Issues 57:743-62.

Barbara F. Reskin. 2003. "Including Mechanisms in our Models of Ascriptive Inequality." American Sociological Review 68:1-21.

Recommended:

Anthony G. Greenwald and Mahzarin R. Banaji. 1995. "Implicit Social Cognition: Attitudes, Self-Esteem and Stereotypes." Psychological Review 102:4-27.

Barbara F. Reskin. 2000. "The Proximate Causes of Employment Discrimination." Contemporary Sociology 29:319-28.

Virginia Valian. 1998. Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

The Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative. 2005. Edge, The Third Culture, The Science of Gender and Science: Pinker vs. Spelke: A Debate, May 16, 2005. [A public discussion on sex differences between men and women and how they relate to the careers of women in science.] [http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html]

Week 10 (March 30): Mechanisms of Inequality III: Race, Immigration

Charles Tilly. 1998. Durable Inequality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (Ch. 1)

Vilna Bashi. Forthcoming. Survival of the Knitted: Immigrant Social Networks in a Stratified World. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (Chapter 3, Chapter 7)

Lawrence Bobo and James R. Kluegel. 1993. "Opposition to Race-Targeting: Self-Interest, Stratification Ideology, or Racial Attitudes?" American Sociological Review 58:443-64.

David O. Sears and P.J. Henry. 2003. "The Origins of Symbolic Racism." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85:259-75.

Laurie A. Rudman, Richard D. Ashmore, and Melvin L. Gary. 2001. "'Unlearning' Automatic Biases: The Malleability of Implicit Prejudice and Stereotypes." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81:856-68.

Devah Pager and Lincoln Quillian. 2005. "Walking the Talk? What Employers Say Versus What They Do." American Sociological Review 70:355-80.

Recommended:

Devah Pager. 2003. "The Mark of a Criminal Record." American Journal of Sociology 108:937-75.


Unit IV: Work and Family

Week 11 (April 6): Is it Culture?

Mary Blair-Loy. 2005. Competing Devotions: Career and Family Among Women Executives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Pamela Stone and Meg Lovejoy. 2004. "Fast-Track Women and the "Choice" to Stay Home." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 596:62-83.

Recommended:

Deborah Carr. 2004. "'My Daughter Has a Career; I Just Raised Babies': The Psychological Cnsequences of Women's Intergenerational Social Comparisons." Social Psychology Quarterly 67:132-54.

Deborah Carr. 2005. "The Psychological Consequences of Midlife Men's Social Comparisons With Their Young Adult Sons." Journal of Marriage and Family 67:240-50.

Linda Hirshman. 2005. "Homeward Bound." The American Prospect, November 2. vs. David Brooks. 2006. "The Year of Domesticity." New York Times, January 1.

Karen Albright and Dalton Conley. 2005. "The Effect of Maternal Labor Market Participation on Adult Siblings' Outcomes: Does Having a Working Mother Lead to Increased Gender Equality in the Family?" Revised version forthcoming, Journal of Marriage and Family.

Terry Martin Hekker. 2006. "Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)." New York Times, January 1.

Week 12 (April 13): Or Is it Institutional?

Joan Williams. 2001. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It. New York: Oxford University Press.

Recommended:

Suzanne M. Bianchi. 2000. "Maternal Employment and Time with Children: Dramatic Change or Surprising Continuity?" Demography 37:401-414.

Lynette Clemetson. 2006. "Work vs. Family, Complicated by Race." New York Times, February 9.

Eduardo Porter. 2006. "Stretched to Limit, Women Stall March to Work." New York Times, March 2.

Week 13 (April 20): Workforce Development for Low-Income Families (Visiting authors: Mary L. Gatta, with Kevin McCabe, Former New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development)

Mary L. Gatta, with Kevin P. McCabe. 2005. Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development. New York: Lexington Books.

Jon Gertner. 2006. "What is a Living Wage?" New York Times, January 15.

Corporate Voices for Working Families. 2005. Model Workplace Supports for Lower-Wage Employees. Washington, D.C.

Peter Berg, Arne L. Kalleberg, and Eileen Appelbaum. 2003. "Balancing Work and Family: The Role of High Commitment Environments. Industrial Relations 42:168-88.

Recommended:

Phyllis Moen and Patricia Roehling. 2005. The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (Chs. 7-8)

Ann Bookman. 2004. Starting in Our Own Backyards: How Working Families Can Build Community and Survive the New Economy. New York: Routledge. (Chs. Intro, 1, 10)

Annette Bernhardt, Martina Morris, Mark S. Handcock, and Marc A. Scott. 2001. Divergent Paths: Economic Mobility in the New American Labor Market. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. (Ch. 8)

Nancy Folbre. 2005. "Eliminating Economic Penalties on Caregivers." Pp. 348-371 in Jody Heymann and Christopher Beem (eds.), Unfinished Work: Building Equality and Democracy in an Era of Working Families. New York: The New Press.

Janet C. Gornick and Marcia K. Meyers. 2005. "Supporting a Dual-Earner/Dual-Carer Society. Pp. 371-408 in Jody Heymann and Christopher Beem (eds.), Unfinished Work: Building Equality and Democracy in an Era of Working Families. New York: The New Press.

Sheila B. Kamerman. 2005. "Europe Advanced While the United States Lagged." Pp. 309-347 in Jody Heymann and Christopher Beem (eds.), Unfinished Work: Building Equality and Democracy in an Era of Working Families. New York: The New Press.

Christopher Jencks. 2004. "The Low-Wage Puzzle: Why is America Generating So Many Bad Jobs--and How Can We Create More Good Jobs?" The American Prospect. January 1, 2004. [see also related articles from a Russell Sage Foundation report]

Week 14 (April 27): Student presentations


May 4th: Final paper due (in Roos Sociology mailbox)


Unit V. Help on Research, Thinking, and Writing:

Becker, Howard S. 1998. Tricks of the Trade: How to Think About Your Research While You're Doing It. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Becker, Howard S. 1986. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Clarke, Lee. "Notes on Proposing" and "On Writing and Criticism"

Germano, William. 2005. "Passive Is Spoken Here." Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, 2005.

Jasper, James. "Why So Many Academics are Lousy Writers"

Miller, Jane E. 2004. The Chicago Guide to Writing About Numbers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Miller, Jane E. 2005. The Chicago Guide to Writing About Multivariate Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [this encompasses Miller, 2004]

Rosenfield, Sarah. "Some Things To Think About While Reading Papers"

Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. 2000. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Allyn & Bacon.

American Sociological Association, "Writing an Informative Abstract"

And, for some humor: "How to Write Good"