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date: 22 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the development of industrial sociology in Britain since the Second World War and its contribution to the study of organizations. It is suggested that there have been three important waves of development, each successive wave mobilizing larger numbers of people and greater resources. The three waves identified and discussed are: early industrial sociology, which was sponsored by government and aspired to be applied; the new sociology of industrial life, which was much broader in scope and focused on the links between workplaces and social structures; and labour process theory, which began with the reanalysis of workplace relationships within a Marxian frame and has more radical values. It is argued that although the different approaches considered have had some differences of outlook and emphasis there is much continuity in the development of the field.

Keywords: industrial sociology, sociology of industrial life, industrial anthropology, labour process theory, multi-paradigm fields

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