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In this major new book leading sociologists, economists, and social psychologists present their highly original research into changes in jobs in Britain in the 1980s. Combining large-scale sample surveys, personal life-histories, and case studies of towns, employers, and worker groups, their findings give clear and often surprising answers to questions debated by social and economic observers in all advanced countries. Does technolgoy destroy skills or rebuild them? how does skill affect the attitudes of employees and their managers towards their jobs? Are women gaining greater skill equality with men, or are they still stuck on the lower rungs of the skill and occupational ladders? The book also takes up neglected issues (what do employees really mean by a skilled job? how does skill-change link with changes in social values?) and challenges and discredits the widely held view that new technology has de-skilled the workforce. Skill and Occupational Change exploits the richest single data-set available in contemporary Europe and the authors exemplify many new techniques for researching skills at work: as an economic resource, as a motor of occupational change, and as a basis for personal careers and identity. It provides the most comprehensive, authoritative, and carefully researched set of conclusions to date on skill trends and their implications and draws the authoritative new map of skill-change in British society.
Oxford University Press
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