Work Appropriation and Social Inequality
Antonia Kupfer (Ed.)
by Friedericke Hardering (Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
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This volume is a collection of subject-oriented studies on paid work. Each chapter refers to the social structures that form conditions for peoples’ working contexts and interprets workers’ and employees’ narrations on work. Work appropriation—a process of formation of subjectivity, in which workers and employees relate to the social status of their occupations and the use-value of their work in actively dealing with the work’s content and conditions—serves as a comprehensive concept for each varying subject-oriented approach in the volume.
‘Work Appropriation and Social Inequality’ focuses on social inequality, understood as the distribution of life chances that privilege some and discriminate others and reveals the unequal conditions for, and outcomes of, work appropriation. By analyzing work appropriation, it uses a broader concept than that of ‘meaning of work’ or ‘meaningful work’ as it includes the practice and processes of working. The volume’s subject-oriented approach to work differs from the stream ‘subjectivation’ in going beyond individuals’ desires for self-realization in work and to companies’ requirements of accessing emotional and personal dimensions of their workforce.
The volume contains three parts: the first lays out basic approaches to work appropriation and social inequality, the second analyses current threats to work appropriation in the UK and Germany, and the third consists of a philosophical outlook on work in the Anthropocene.
The book’s impact lies in pushing forward the debate on how work appropriations are linked to unequal social structures. It will therefore appeal to social scientists interested in social inequality, sociology of work and organization, as well as students and teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level in the areas of social sciences.
List of tables
University of Stirling
Technical University Dresden, Germany
Orientation to social advancement and its rejection: how social inequality is processed and criticised
Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Subjective work interests and dissent: inequalities in contesting pressures of valorisation
Institute of Social Research, Munich, Germany
Finding purpose, challenge and adventure – military service as meaningful work
University of Southampton
Inequalities, work alienation and appropriation in the digital world of work
Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
University of Basel
Münster University of Applied Sciences, Germany
University of Basel, Switzerland
Class theory and ‘the meaning of work’
University of Leeds
University of Birmingham
Meaningful work and social citizenship
University of Salzburg, Austria
Normative Claims toward Work, Crises of Legitimation and Mobilisation
University of Hamburg, Germany
Work in the Anthropocene
University of Oxford
Notes on contributors
Dr Antonia Kupfer is Professor of Macrosociology at TU Dresden. Previously, she held the position of Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK from 2011-2014, the Schumpeter Fellowship for the Weatherhead Center of International Affairs at Harvard University from 2010-2011, and she has worked as Assistant Professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria where she obtained her habilitation in sociology with work on social inequality. In 2003 Dr Kupfer obtained her PhD in political sciences from Duesseldorf University, Germany. She has held three workshops and published papers in the same area as this volume, and is currently writing a monograph on the same topic.
Class, Labor-process, Alienation, Subject, Recognition, Present Utilization Value