Gender and technology

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 Gender and technology



A distinctive feature of the economic system of modern societies is the development of a highly complex and diverse division of labour. The division of labor means that work is divided among different occupations that require specialization, a result of which is economic interdependence; We all depend on each other to maintain our livelihood. Both men and women should be provided with free education and necessary vocational training prior to employment. Women are mainly involved in domestic duties. They don’t even hold jobs permanently and they lack role models. Women are not very active or independent due to traditionally being subservient to men. Men, women and children in rural or backward areas should be given opportunity to learn any craft or specialized work



Plantation employs more women overall than any other organized industry. There has been a decline in the employment of women in factory industries in recent years. This could be due to a number of reasons – use of machines required for skilled labour, tendency of employers not to hire women as women are given more benefits and higher wages as per the Act. The factory industry, where women’s employment is the largest, is a food and food processing industry dealing with agriculture, tobacco, textiles, chemicals, basic metals, electrical machinery and metal products.


women and work


Throughout history, men and women have contributed to the creation and reproduction of the social world around them, both on a day-to-day basis and over long periods of time. Over the past few decades, more and more women have entered the labor force. In most Western countries, Russia and China, women are about a quarter less likely than men to work outside the home. However, reports in the UK suggest that three quarters of the working female population are engaged in part-time, low-paid work, in cubicles, clearing, cashiering and catering.




Women and the Workplace; historical scene



For most populations in pre-industrial societies (and many in the developing world), productive activities and domestic activities were not separate. Production was carried out either in or near the home, and all members of the family worked on the land or in handicrafts. Women often had considerable influence in this domestic authority as a result of their importance in the economic process, even though they were excluded from the male reality of politics and warfare. Wives of artisans and craftsmen often kept the accounts of the business and widows usually owned and managed businesses.


Much of this changed with the separation of the workplace from the home due to the development of modern industry. m

The movement of production into mechanized factories was probably the largest single factor. ma used to work

China’s movement by individuals hired specifically for the tasks in question, so employers gradually began to contract workers individually? instead of families.


Over time – and the progress of industrialization established a growing divide between home and workplace. The idea of separate spheres, public and private, became part of popular attitudes. Men, by virtue of their employment outside the home, spent more time in the public sphere and were more involved in local affairs, politics, and the market. Women were associated with ‘domestic’ values and were responsible for tasks such as caring for children, maintaining the home and preparing meals for the family. The idea that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ had different implications for women at different levels in society. Affluent women enjoyed the services of maids, nurses and domestic servants. binders were harshest for the poor women who had to



Engaging in industrial work along with household chores to supplement husband’s income.


Increase in economic activities of women


Women’s participation in the paid labor force has more or less steadily increased over the past decades. A major impact was the labor shortage experienced during World War I. During the war years women performed many tasks previously considered the exclusive province of men. Upon returning from the war, men again occupied most of those jobs, but the pre-established pattern was broken.


The gender division of labor changed dramatically in the years following World War II. The UK employment rate is the proportion of people of working age who are employed. For women it increased from 56 percent to 70 percent between 1971 and 2004. There are several reasons why the gap in the rate of economic activity between men and women has narrowed in recent decades, the first being a change in the scope and nature of work. Traditionally associated with women and the ‘domestic sphere’, birth rates have declined and the average age of childbirth has increased, with many women now taking up paid work before childbearing and after terms returns to work. Smaller families mean that the time many women previously spent at home caring for young children is reduced. The mechanization of many household tasks has also helped reduce the amount of time spent on maintaining the home. Automatic dish washers, vacuum cleaners and washing machines have made household chores less labor intensive. There is also evidence that the household division of labor between men and women has been steadily decreasing over time, although women certainly still do more household work than men.


There are also financial reasons for increasing numbers of women entering the labor market. The traditional nuclear family model – made up of a male earner, female homemaker and dependent children – now accounts for only a quarter of households. Domestic economic pressures, including increases in male unemployment, have led more women to seek paid work. Many families find that two incomes are needed to maintain the desired lifestyle. Other changes in household structure, including higher rates of singlehood and childlessness, as well as an increase in single-mother households, mean that women from outside traditional households are also entering the labor market – either by choice or from vacation



It is important to note that many women have chosen to enter the labor market in response to a desire for personal fulfillment and a drive for equality. After achieving legal equality with men, many women have taken advantage of opportunities to realize these rights in their outside lives. As work is central in contemporary society and employment is almost always a prerequisite for living an independent life. Women have made great strides towards equality with men in recent decades; Increased economic activity has been central to this process.







Gender and Inequalities at Work



Despite having a form! Equality with men, women still experience many inequalities in the labor market. The three main inequalities for women at the workplace are as follows; Occupational segregation, concentration, and wage differentials in concurrent employment.


Business Segregation:


Women workers have traditionally been concentrated in low-paid, routine occupations, many of these jobs are highly gendered – ie they are generally seen as ‘women’s work’. Secretarial and caring jobs (such as nursing social work and child care) are highly important for women and are generally considered ‘feminine’ occupations. Occupational gender segregation refers to the fact that men and women are concentrated in different types of jobs based on prevailing understandings of what is appropriate ‘male’ and ‘female’ work.


Business segregation has been observed for vertical and horizontal components. workspace isolation

Refers to the tendency for women to be concentrated in jobs with little authority and room for advancement, while men occupy more powerful and influential positions. Horizontal segregation refers to the tendency of men and women to occupy different categories of jobs. xhai

Tige segregation refers to the tendency of men and women to occupy different categories of jobs. Horizontal separation can be pronounced. In the UK 1991 more than 50 per cent of women’s employment fell into four occupational categories; Clerical secretarial, personal services and other primary. In 1998, 26 percent of women were in regular white laundry work, compared to only 8 percent of men, while 17 percent of men were in skilled manual work, compared to only 2 percent of women.


Changes in the organization of employment as well as sex role stereotyping have contributed to occupational segregation. Prestige and work is provided to ‘clerks’



a good example. In 1850, 99 percent of clerks in Britain were male. To be a clerk often required one to be responsible, with knowledge of accountancy skills and sometimes even the lowest clerk having a certain status in the outside world to carry out managerial responsibilities. The twentieth century has seen a general mechanization of office work, with a marked upgrading of skills and another related occupation, the ‘clerk’ as well as the secretary – a low status, low paid occupation. in. Women came to fill these occupations as the pay and prestige associated with them declined. However, the proportion of people working as secretaries has fallen over the past few decades. Computers have replaced typewriters, and many managers now do most of their letter writing and other tasks directly on the computer.





Concentration in part-time work:


Although an increasing number of women now work full-time outside the home, a large number are concentrated in part-time employment. In recent decades, opportunities for part-time work have greatly increased, partly as a result of labor markets encouraging flexible employment policies and partly because of the expansion of the service society.


Part time jobs are offering a lot more flexibility to the employees as compared to full time work. For this reason they are often preferred by women who are trying to balance work and family obligations, in many cases this can be done successfully and women who might otherwise be out of employment become economically active. But part time work has some disadvantages like low salary, job. Insecurity and limited opportunities for advancement.


Part-time work is attractive to many women and most of the growth is women’s economic activity in the post-war period. As of 2004 there were 5.2 million women in the UK in part-time employment to only 1.2 million men. The UK is somewhat unique among industrialized nations in this regard, with the UK having one of the highest rates of female part-time employment. Surveys have shown that part-time jobs are low paying, insecure and often more flexible for the employer than the employee. Most of the women do part time jobs. The main reason given by the people questioned for working part-time is the fact that they prefer not to work full-time.


Some scholars have argued that there are different types of women who are committed to work outside the home and who are unrestricted to work, rendering the traditional sexual division of labor unacceptable. According to this approach, many women happily choose to work part time



To meet traditional household obligations. However there is an important sense in which women have little choice. Men and older people do not warrant pain liability but still want to work in paid jobs or essentially find part-time work a more viable option.


Pay Gap:


Young women with good qualifications are now as likely to take up local jobs as their male counterparts. Yet this progress at the top of the occupational structure is offset by a huge increase in the number of women in low part-time jobs, ushering in the booming service sector. Occupational segregation by gender is one of the main factors in the persistence of the pay gap between men and women. Women are over-represented in job sectors with higher wages. Despite some gains, women are still under-represented at the top of the income distribution.


The percentage of women among the poor has steadily increased in recent years. Poverty is particularly acute for women with very young children who require constant care. There’s a vicious cycle here. A woman who can hold down a reasonably well-paying job may be financially crippled from paying for child care, yet if she starts working part-time Her earnings are reduced; whatever career prospects may have disappeared, and she also loses other economic benefits such as pension rights that full-time employees receive.


Changes in the Household Division of Labour:



One of the consequences of more women entering paid work is that some traditional family patterns are being renegotiated. The male breadwinner model has become the exception rather than the rule, and women’s growing economic independence means they are in a better position to break out of gender stereotypes at home if they choose to do so. Both homework and financial decision making intern

Significant changes are taking place in the traditional household rules of women. There appears to be a move towards a more egalitarian relationship in many households, although the main responsibility for most housework still rests on women’s shoulders. The exception to this is small household repair jobs that are more likely to be done by men. Surveys have found that women still spend about 3 hours a day on average doing housework (excluding shopping and childcare). This compares with 1 hour 40 minutes spent by men (Office for National Statistics 2003)


Studies show that married women with jobs outside the home do ten more household chores than others, although they almost always bear the main responsibility of caring for the home. The pattern of their movements is definitely different. they do more



Doing housework for longer hours in the evenings and on weekends than for full-time housewives.


There is evidence that this pattern may also change for housewives. Men are contributing more household work than their share, although scholars who have examined this phenomenon argue that the process is one of backward adaptation (Gershschuni 1994). This means that the renegotiation of domestic work between men and women is proceeding at a slower pace than women’s entry into the labor market. Research has found that the division of labor within households varies according to factors such as class and the amount of time a woman spends in paid work. Couples from higher social classes tend to have a more egalitarian division of labor, or households in which the woman is working full-time. Overall, men are taking on a greater amount of household responsibility, but the burden is still not shared equally.





Gender Differentiation and Technological Development in India



Most of the women are employed in a) Agriculture b) Mines

  1. c) Plantation d) Factory Industries e) Small Scale Industries f) Social Service g) White Seller Jobs.


The plantation industry employs more women than others. In recent years there has been a decline in the employment of women in factory industries. This could be due to many reasons like use of machines for efficient labour, tendency of employers not to hire women as more benefits and higher wages are to be given to women as per the act. The factory industries where women’s employment is the largest are agriculture, tobacco, textiles, chemicals, basic metals, electrical machinery and metal products, food and food processing.


Women are not allowed to work underground in mines. A large number of women are also employed in e-milling, which is done on a large scale in Bengal, Bihar and Madras. Here women are employed in drying, spreading, threshing and removing rice from hullers and husking. They have to walk in the sun for long hours to spread and turn the rice with their feet or with a ladle.


During the period of last 50 years, there has been more loss of work opportunities for women in non-agriculture sectors of the economy than in agriculture.











Factors responsible for the decline in the employment of women workers:

1) One of the important reasons is the introduction of new machinery and modern technology, eliminating the physical processes that were done by women in the past.

2) Legal ban on employment of women on underground work in mines and night work in all industries.

3) The provisions of various labor laws related to women such as payment of maternity benefits, provision of crèche, prohibition of night work, adoption of equal pay for equal work and standardization of wages put more financial burden on the employers.

4) More automation i.e. use of more automatic machines eliminates unskilled hands.

5) Restriction on weight lifting by women.

6) The increase in the number of shifts and employment of women is probably only one shift.

7) Limited employment opportunities for women in engineering industries.

Most of the women work to supplement the family income. They work as coolies in most of the industries. In plantation women work on a family basis i.e. all the members of the family except very young children are put to work. In mines, especially coal mines, women are usually employed as cowries or wagon loaders or at times even seen pushing trams.

Women are paid slightly less than men because they work as efficiently as men. In plantations and wives they work same hours only in factories female workers are paid equally but this is legal information

Cementation has resulted in discriminatory job opportunities for women. Thus there exists a wide gap between the wages of men and women in factories, mines and plantations and physical strength, level of education and training, inclination for the job and when fixing the rates of wages, even manual jobs are discriminated against. are not free.


  women. Labor laws have been made to protect women from undue exploitation.

Rapid automation, modernization of industrial techniques, requirement of higher skills on the part of workers, changed patterns of production and new products gradually reduce the need for unskilled labor in both men and women.

Ti is going In the formal organized sector, as such, there is less need for illiterate and inexperienced people. Even in the informal sector, unskilled workers cannot be absorbed in the near future. This is the age of specialization. Each operation is specialized and only technically trained worker can handle operator women as it is rare



The educated, especially in rural areas, rarely received the training necessary to perform specialized tasks, as mechanized operations replaced male workers, women were made surplus even earlier.


In developing countries like India, both women and children have to work because poverty and unemployment are going to persist in the future as well. There is no immediate solution in sight. Women are not considered fit or qualified for many jobs in India such as driving or operating a vehicle or any other responsible work such as accounting or shop-keeping. In many jobs women are not given preference after marriage.


India is still a backward country. There is no facility of education or communication in remote villages. Rural men are considered only for unskilled jobs. Heavy lifting, loading, wagoning or any activity that does not require much skill in urban areas employs true illiterates, lack of training faculties for men renders many men, women and children unable to do any job However, lack of proper qualification renders them ineligible for jobs in organized sectors.

Further modernization computerization of jobs has largely eliminated labor, with many traditionally skilled workers laid off and losing their jobs. In a situation where many artisans also have no scope for a better future, unskilled or untrained men or women cannot even think of getting a decent or gainful job. Unskilled adult man or woman can be engaged only in temporary casual jobs which are given on contract or sub-contract basis such as construction work, moving heavy goods, as porter or sweeper. Even the semi-skilled people find it difficult to survive in modern factories. The work is helpful in industries with skilled workers.


So that they can be engaged in gainful employment both in organized and unorganized sectors.







work and technology





One of the manufacturers doing mass customization is Dell Computer. Consumers who want to buy a computer from the manufacturer must go online, the company does not maintain retail stores, and navigate to Dell’s website. Customers can choose the exact mix of features they want. Once an order is placed, a computer is custom built according to specification and then typically shipped within days. In fact, Dell has turned traditional ways of doing business upside down. Companies used to make a product first, then worry about selling it; Now, with mass customizers like Dell selling first and building second, such a change has significant consequences for the industry. A major cost for manufacturers to keep a stock of parts on hand has been dramatically reduced. In addition, an increasing share of production is outsourced. Thus, the rapid transfer of information between manufacturers and suppliers by Internet technology is also essential for the successful implementation of mass customization.


One of the most characteristic features of the economic system of modern societies is the highly complex division of labor. Work has become fragmented into a vast number of different occupations in which people specialize. In traditional societies, non-agricultural pursuits required craftsmanship. Craftsmanship was learned through a long period of apprenticeship, and workers normally


Covered all aspects of the production process from start to finish. For example, a plow metalsmith forges iron, shapes it, and assembles the tools himself. With the rise of modern industrial production, most traditional crafts have disappeared entirely, replaced by those skills. which become part of mass production processes. Jockey, whose life story we discussed at the beginning of this chapter, is one example. He spent his entire career on a very specific job; Other people in the factory handled other specialized tasks.




organization of work



Modern society has also seen changes in the place of work. Before industrialization, most of the work was done at home and was done collectively by all the members of the household. Advances in industrial technology, such as electricity and coal-fired machinery, contributed to the separation of work and home. Factories owned by entrepreneurs become the focal points of industrial development. Machinery and equipment were concentrated within them and mass production of goods began to eclipse small-scale artisanship based in the home. In factories like jockeys people seeking jobs would be trained to do a particular job and would get paid for their work. The performance of the employees was ignored by the managers, who implemented techniques to increase the productivity and discipline of the workers.

were related to questioning.


The difference in the division of labor between traditional and modern societies is truly extraordinary. Even in the largest traditional societies, typically no more than twenty or thirty major craft trades existed, with specialized roles such as merchant, soldier, and priest. There are literally thousands of different businesses in a modern industrial system. The UK Census lists approximately 20,000 different jobs in the British economy. In traditional communities, the majority of the population worked on farms and were economically self-sufficient. They produced their own food, clothing and other necessaries of life. In contrast, one of the main characteristics of modern societies is the vast extent of economic interdependence. We all depend on a vast number of other workers. For the products and services that sustain our lives today are spread throughout the world, with few exceptions, most people in modern society do not produce the food they eat, the homes they live in, or the material goods. consume.



  Taylorism and Fordism



Writing some two centuries ago, Adam Smith, one of the founders of modern economics, identified the benefits that the division of labor provides in terms of increasing productivity. His most famous work, The Wealth of Nations (1776), begins with a description of the division of labor in a pin factory. A single person working alone could probably make 20 pins a day. However, by breaking the worker’s task into several simple tasks, ten workers performing a specialized task in cooperation with each other could collectively produce 48,000 pins per day. The rate of output per worker, in other words, has been increased by 20


With up to 4,800 pins, each expert operator produces 240 times more than working alone.


More than a century later, these ideas reached their most developed expression in the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor (1865–1915). An American management consultant Taylor’s approach to what he called ‘scientific management’ involved the detailed study of industrial processes in order to break them down into simple operations that could be precisely timed and organized. Taylorism, as Scientific Management came to be called, was not just an academic study. It was a system of production designed to maximize industrial output, and it had a huge impact not only on the organization of industrial production and technology, but also on the politics of the workplace. In particular, Taylor’s time and motion studies took away control over knowledge of the production process from workers and placed such knowledge firmly in the hands of management, giving craft workers autonomy from their employers (Braverman 1974). Kept As such, Taylorism is widely associated with the deskilling and degradation of labor.


The principles of Taylorism were appropriated by the industrialist Henry Ford (1863–1947). Ford opened its first auto plant in Highland Park, Michigan in 1908 designed to manufacture only one product, the Model T Ford—which included the introduction of specialized tools and machinery designed for speed, accuracy, and ease of operation, which One of Ford’s most important innovations was the The assembly line is said to have been inspired by Chicago slaughterhouses, in which animals were dismembered section by section on a moving line. Each worker on Ford’s assembly line was assigned a specific task, such as fitting the left-hand door handle as the car moved along the body line.

By 1929, when the Model T ceased production, over 15 million cars had been produced.


Ford was among the first to realize that mass production required large markets. He argued that if standardized goods such as automobiles were to be produced on an even greater scale, the presence of consumers who were able to purchase those goods must also be ensured. In 1914, Ford took the unprecedented step of one-way wage increases to 5 for eight hours at its Dearborn, Michigan plant, a very generous wage at the time and one that ensured a working-class lifestyle in which such an automobile This included being the owner of As Harvey comments, ‘the purpose of the five-dollar, eight-hour day was only in part to secure worker compliance with the discipline required to operate a highly productive assembly line system. incidentally it was meant to provide workers with sufficient income to consume the mass-produced products that corporations were about to



to excrete ever greater [Harvey 1989]. Ford also enlisted the services of a small army of social workers to educate them in proper consumption habits.


Fordism is the name given to designate the system of mass production associated with the cultivation of the mass market. In some materials, the term has a more specific meaning, referring to a historical period in the development of capitalism after World War II, in which large-scale production was associated with stability in labor relations and a high degree of unionization. Under Fordism, firms made long-term commitments to workers, and wages were highly linked to productivity growth. collective bargaining agreement

As a result, formal agreements were reached between firms and unions that specified working conditions such as wages, seniority rights, benefits, and thus set off a virtuous cycle that ensured workers’ consent to automated work arrangements and There was a substantial demand for mass-produced goods. The system is generally understood to have broken down in the 1970s, allowing greater flexibility and insecurity in working conditions.





Limitations of Taylorism and Fordism:


The reasons for the demise of Fordism are complex and hotly debated. As firms in a wide variety of industries adopted Fordist production methods, the system faced certain limitations. At one time, it seemed that Fordism represented the possible future of industrial production as a whole. But this has not proven to be the case. The system can only be successfully implemented in industries, such as car manufacturing, that produce standardized products for mass markets. Mechanized production lines are very expensive to set up, and once the Fordist system is in place, it is quite rigid; Replacing a product, for example, requires substantial reinvestment. Imitating Fordist production is easy if enough money is available to set up a plant. But in countries where labor force is expensive, it becomes difficult for firms to compete with firms where wages are cheaper. This was originally one of the factors leading to the rise of the Japanese car industry [although today Japanese wage levels are no longer low] and later that of South Korea.


The difficulties with Fordism and Taylorism go beyond the need for expensive equipment; However, Fordism and Taylorism are what some industrial sociologists call low-trust systems. Jobs are set by the management and prepared for the machines. Those who work are closely monitored and given little autonomy of action. In order to maintain discipline and high quality production standards, employees are monitored through separate monitoring systems.



This constant supervision, however, produces the opposite of its intended result: workers’ commitment and morale often wane because they have little say in the nature of their jobs or because of low-trust in which they are performed. In workplaces with many low-trust positions, levels of worker dissatisfaction and absenteeism are high, and industrial conflict is common.


A high-trust system, in contrast, is one in which workers are allowed to control the pace, and even the content, of their work within overall guidelines. Such systems are usually concentrated at higher levels of industrial organization. As we shall see, high-trust systems have become more common in many workplaces in recent decades, changing the way we think about organization and job performance.


  Changing nature of work and work:


The globalization of economic production, along with the spread of information technology, is changing the nature of the jobs most people do. As discussed in Chapter 9, the proportion of people working in blue-collar jobs has declined progressively in industrialized countries. Fewer people work in factories than before. New jobs have been created in offices and service centres, such as supermarkets and airports. Many of these new jobs are filled by w


Professional Isolation:

Women workers have traditionally been concentrated in low-paid, routine occupations. Many of these jobs are highly gendered – that is, they are generally seen as ‘women’s work’. Secretarial and care work (such as nursing, social work and child care) are heavily conducted by women and are generally regarded as ‘feminine’ occupations. Occupational gender segregation refers to the fact that men and women are concentrated in different types of jobs based on prevailing understandings of appropriate ‘male’ and ‘female’ work.


Professional separation is observed for processing vertical and horizontal components. Vertical segregation refers to the tendency for women to be concentrated in jobs with less authority and room for advancement, while men occupy more powerful and influential positions. Horizontal segregation refers to the tendency of men and women to occupy different categories of jobs. For example, women largely dominate domestic and regular clerical positions, while men are placed in semi-skilled and skilled manual positions. Horizontal separation can be pronounced. In 1991 more than 50 percent of women’s employment in the UK (compared to 17 percent of men) fell into four occupational categories:



clerical, secretarial, personal services and ‘other primary’ (Crompton 1997). In 1998, 26 percent of women were in regular white-collar work, compared with only 8 percent of men, while 17 percent of men were in skilled manual work, compared with only 2 percent of women (HMSO 1999).


Changes in the organization of employment as well as gender-role stereotyping have contributed to occupational segregation. Changes in the prestige and job functions of ‘clerks’ provide a good example. in Britain in the 1850s

99 percent of the clerks were men. To be a clerk was often a responsible position, involving knowledge of accountancy skills and sometimes taking care of managerial responsibilities. Even the smallest clerk had a certain status in the outside world. The twentieth century has seen a general mechanization of office work (with the introduction of the typewriter in the late nineteenth century), accompanied by a marked upgrading of the skills and status of the ‘clerk’ as well as another related occupation, the ‘secretary’. – in a law – position, low-paid occupation. Women come to fill these occupations because the pay and prestige associated with them have declined. In 1998 around 90 per cent of clerical workers and 98 per cent of secretaries in the UK were women. However, the proportion of people working as secretaries has fallen over the past two decades. Computers have replaced typewriters, and many managers now do most of their letter-writing and other work directly on the computer.








Post – Fordism:


In recent decades, flexible practices have been introduced in many areas, including product development, production technology, management style, work environment, employee involvement and marketing, group production, problem solving teams, multi-tasking, and niche marketing. About the strategies adopted by the companies trying to reorganize themselves in the changing circumstances. Some commentators have suggested that, taken collectively, these changes represent a radical departure from the principles of Fordism; He argues that we are now living in a period that can best be understood as Post-Fordism. The phrase was popularized by Michael Piore and Charles Sabel in The Second Industrial Divide (1984), and describes a new era of capitalist economic production characterized by flexibility and innovation to meet market demands for diverse, customized products. is maximized.


The idea of post-Fordism is somewhat problematic; However, the term is used to refer to a set of overlapping changes that are taking place not only in the areas of work and economic life, but




In the whole society as a whole. Some authors argue that post-Fordism tendencies can be seen in areas as diverse as partisan politics, welfare programs, and consumer and lifestyle choices. While observers of contemporary society often point to many of the same changes, there is no consensus about the precise meaning of post Fordism or, indeed, if it is the best way to understand the phenomenon we are witnessing. .


Despite the confusion surrounding the term, several distinctive trends within the world of work have emerged in recent decades that represent a clear departure from earlier Fordist practices. These include the decentralization of work into non-hierarchical word groups, the idea of flexible production and mass customization, the spread of global production, and the introduction of more flexible business structures. We will first consider examples of the first three of these trends, post —before looking at similar criticisms of the Fordist thesis. This will be followed by a focus on flexible work patterns






Group Production:


Collaborative work groups are sometimes used in conjunction with automation as a way to reorganize work in place of the assembly line. The underlying idea is to increase worker motivation by allowing groups of workers to collaborate on term production processes, rather than requiring each worker to perform the same repetitive task, such as screwing in a car door handle, all day.


An example of group production is the quality circle (QCS), a group of between five and twenty workers who meet regularly to study and solve production problems. QCS-related personnel receive additional training, allowing them to contribute technical knowledge to the discussion of production issues. QCS was introduced in the United States, taken up by several Japanese companies, and then popularized again in Western economies in the 1980s. They represent a break from the notions of Taylorism, as they reconstitute that workers have the expertise to contribute to the definition and methodology of the work they do.


Positive effects of group production on workers may include the acquisition of new skills, increased autonomy, decreased managerial supervision, and increased pride in the goods and services they produce. However, studies have identified several negative consequences of team production. Although direct managerial authority is less clear in a term process, other forms of supervision exist, such as supervision by another team.




worker. American sociologist Laurie Graham went to work on the assembly line at the Japanese-owned Subaru-Isuzu car plant in India. in the United States, and found that there was constant pressure from other workers to achieve greater productivity.


A colleague told her that after initially being enthusiastic about the team concept, she found that peer supervision was a new tool of management that was begging people to work ’til death’. Graham (1995) also

Oriya that Subaru-Isuzu used the group production concept as a means of opposing trade unions, arguing that if management and workers were on the same ‘team’ then there should be no conflict between the two. In other words, at the Subaru-Isuzu plant in which Graham worked, demands for higher pay or less responsibilities were seen as a lack of employee cooperation. Studies such as Graham’s have led sociologists to conclude that team-based production processes provide workers with opportunities for less monotonous work practices and that power and control remain the same in the workplace.





Flexible production and mass customization



One of the most significant changes in production processes around the world over the past few years has been the introduction of computer aided design and flexible manufacturing. Whereas Taylorism and Fordism were successful in mass producing mass-market products (which were all the same). They were unable to produce small orders of goods, let alone mode the goods specifically for an individual customer. The limited ability of Taylorist and Fordist systems to customize their products is reflected in Henry Ford’s famous quip about the first mass-produced car: People can have a Model T in any color as long as it is be black Computer-based design, combined with other types of computer-based technology, has changed this situation in a radical way. Stanley Davis talks about the emergence of ‘mass customizing’. New technologies allow mass production of items designed for particular customers. Five thousand shirts can be produced daily on the assembly line. It is now possible to customize every single shirt just as quickly, and at no more cost, than to produce five thousand identical shirts (Davis 1988).


While flexible production has generated benefits for consumers and the economy as a whole, the impact on workers has not been entirely positive. Through workers learning new skills and having less monotonous jobs, flexible production can create an entirely new set of pressures that arise from the need to carefully and co-ordinate a complex production process.



Generate results quickly. Laurie Graham’s study of the Subaru-Isuzu factory documented instances when workers had to wait until the last minute for critical parts in the production process. As a result, employees were forced to work longer hours and more intensively to maintain production schedules without additional compensation.


Technology such as the Internet can be used to solicit information about individual consumers and then manufacture products to their exact specifications. Ardent supporters argue that mass customization offers nothing like a new industrial revolution, a significant development in the last century. However, skeptics have been quick to point out that as currently practiced, mass customization only creates the illusion of choice in reality.

Additionally, the choices available to the Internet customer do not exceed those provided by typical mail order catalogs (Collins 2000).



Chapter 6

labour market


Recruitment for each type of job depended partly on skill and luck, but largely on contacts, especially of relatives or family networks from the same village or region, which in turn led to the same caste or community. are related by caste boundary, if they are not relatives. Groups of people of similar social origin are found in a firm, sometimes in a trade or industry.


In big cities where industries have developed rapidly, employers and workers are found to be educated. Skilled people from other regions and speaking other languages find it necessary to hire people for skilled workforce. The division between the labor market for factories and workshops is often not the result of local historical accidents, such as any systematic discrimination in favor of the wealthy, educated and highly educated.

Center. The biggest hurdle is not among the regular worker



Rapid increases in industrial productivity have been essential elements of development and structural change and in economies. To achieve this rapid increase in industrial productivity in India, the nation has depended on planning, small scale industries and large scale industrial development. Our plans consider labor productivity as well as capital productivity.


We have seen how the British systematically destroyed the industrial base of India. As a result, India’s industrial base was weak at the time of independence. The government called an industrial conference in December 1947 to consider ways and means of fully utilizing the existing capacity and setting up new industries.



growing need of the people. The conference was attended by representatives of the central and provincial governments, industrialists and workers. To ensure better relations between the management and the workers, a tripartite agreement was made, providing for a three-year industrial trice between the management and the workers. In order to help in industrial development, the government has

In 8-49 some tax concessions were provided to the industry and a bill was passed to set up industrial policy proposals.


Small scale industries have an important place in the industrial system of our country. After independence, small scale industries emerged in the country. In the earlier pre-industrial era there were artisans and craftsmen who used their inherited skills to make traditional products. Several minor engineering units were established during the war years. Small scale industries have developed in response to promotional work carried out since the 1950s, as part of a strategy by government-sponsored planning agencies. The small scale sector has grown rapidly in recent years in terms of increase in the number of units, their contribution to industrial production, employment opportunities generated by them and their large share in the country’s experts. Small-scale industries are mainly located in urban centers as separate establishments, where industries produce goods with partially or fully mechanized equipment that employ outside labor.


Earlier studies of industrial labor emphasized the eventful consequences of introducing new technologies, which affected a stable traditional society and institutions such as the canto, the village, and the joint family. It was believed that the centers existed almost unchanged until they faced the shock of industrialism, rural migration and the growth of new industrial and commercial cities such as Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. which were very different from the old cities which were the center

of Indian civilization. The impact of new technologies would not be isolated from the colonial rule, new systems of law, administration and education, and the dominant position of the British community in India. Some writers justified the colonial rule and praised its achievements and some strongly criticized it. The inevitable impact of a dynamic West on a stagnant society became apparent not only to foreign writers but to many Indians.


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