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Fordism and Flexibility

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The profound changes in the labour market during the 1980s are examined in this book in relation to the ideas of flexible specialization and the "flexible firm" and Marxist regulation theory, supplemented by fresh empirical evidence concerning changes in the labour process. Three related concepts have emerged around which there has been a dramatic crystallization: Fordism, post-Fordism and, supposedly linking the two, various manifestations of economic flexibility. There has been, it is suggested, a profound change in the labour process towards the "flexible worker" and in the labour market towards a "flexible workforce". Three approaches to explain these changes are especially important and provide the major focus for this book: Marxist regulation theory; the notion of flexible specialization associated with the "new" institutional economics; and the model of the flexible firm derived from the managerialist literature. In the book, the diverse claims made by these three approaches are subject to empirical and theoretical investigation and their wider implications are examined in relation to emerging patterns of work in advanced societies.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.- Abbreviations.- Introduction.- PART 1 ENCOUNTERS WITH THE CLASSICAL TRADITIONS.- Critical Interpretations of Marx.- The Political Context of Max Weber's Sociology.- Durkheim's Political Sociology.- Marx, Weber and Capitalism.- PART 2 PROBLEMS OF ACTION AND STRUCTURE.- Social Theory and the Question of Action.- The Production and Reproduction of Social Life.- The Concept of Structure.- Structure, Action, Reproduction.- Lay Knowledge and Technical Concepts.- Structural Theory and Empirical Research.- PART 3 TIME, AND SPACE.- Time-Space, Structure, System.- Time-Space Distanciation Analysing.- Social Change.- The Production of Everyday Life.- PART 4 DOMINATION AND POWER.- Parsons on Power Critique of Foucault Class.- Structuration Class and Power.- Administrative Power and the Nation-State.- The Nation-State and Military Power.- PART 5 THE NATURE OF MODERNITY.- A 'Discontinuist' Approach.- Dynamic Tendencies of Modernity.- Trust and Risk in Social Life Modernity and Self-Identity.- Love and Sexuality.- PART 6 CRITICAL THEORY.- Max Weber on Facts and Values.- Critical Theory.- Without Guarantees Utopian Realism Emancipatory and Life Politics.- Selected Bibliography.- Index.

About the Author

ANTHONY GIDDENS is Professor of Sociology and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

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