Introduction: Why and How Should We Think about Work?
This book is about work in a modern market-capitalist economy, taking the point of view of the questioning observer to set out some core propositions about capitalism and the meaning of working within such a system. This book then explains the ‘questioning observer’ as well as the value of taking such a perspective. The bulk of the rest of the chapter introduces three sets of ideas that structure the argument: connections and contradictions, that is, the mix of forces shaping organizations; structures and choices, the ways in which people can influence their working lives; and the economic, political, and ideological processes by which organizational life is managed. The book's goal throughout is not to offer a compendium of evidence but, rather, to think through some key issues and dilemmas of work in modern economies. Tools such as the idea of contradiction and the distinction between economic, political, and ideological processes aid in this task.
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