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Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market
Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews (2015)
  • Robert S. McCarl, Boise State University
In Degraded Work, Marc Doussard provides a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of low-wage jobs in residential housing construction and the retail food business in Chicago. His theoretical and contextual framework for this analysis, however, results in a powerful re-assessment of the strategies being used by employers in these industries to maximize profit by degrading and “sweating” employees. Doussard convincingly argues that sociologists and students of work culture have allowed the theoretical emphasis on globalization and post-Fordist corporate strategies to take our eye off the ball regarding local labor markets. He uses ethnographic, statistical, and theoretical tools to provide a concrete description of the ways in which workers and employers create niche skills and enterprises, while also providing model methodologies and practical suggestions for conducting parallel studies in other locales.
Publication Date
July, 2015
Citation Information
Robert S. McCarl. "Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market" Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews Vol. 44 Iss. 4 (2015) p. 499 - 501 ISSN: 00943061
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