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The Sociology of Labor Markets

The Sociology of Labor Markets The aim of this essay is to provide a synthesis of empirical and theoretical research in an area that is a point of convergence for much of the literature on social stratification, occupational sociology, industrial sociology, the sociology of organizations, and labor economics . The analysis of labor mar­ kets is an important concern for sociological inquiry; it permits an under­ standing of the way macro forces associated with the economy of a society and elements of social structure impinge on the microrelations between employers and workers in determining various forms of inequality. Since the majority of people in industrial society obtain income and other rewards in exchange for work, labor market processes form the central mechanisms of social distribution in industrial society (Caplow, 1954). The concept of "labor markets " has many connotations. It has been used to denote geographical areas or occupational and industrial groups, as well as groups of workers defined by ethnicity, race, sex , and levels of education and skill. We define labor markets abstractly, as the arenas in which work­ ers exc hange their l abor power in return for wages, status, and other j o b rewards. The concept, therefore , http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1979 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
DOI
10.1146/annurev.so.05.080179.002031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to provide a synthesis of empirical and theoretical research in an area that is a point of convergence for much of the literature on social stratification, occupational sociology, industrial sociology, the sociology of organizations, and labor economics . The analysis of labor mar­ kets is an important concern for sociological inquiry; it permits an under­ standing of the way macro forces associated with the economy of a society and elements of social structure impinge on the microrelations between employers and workers in determining various forms of inequality. Since the majority of people in industrial society obtain income and other rewards in exchange for work, labor market processes form the central mechanisms of social distribution in industrial society (Caplow, 1954). The concept of "labor markets " has many connotations. It has been used to denote geographical areas or occupational and industrial groups, as well as groups of workers defined by ethnicity, race, sex , and levels of education and skill. We define labor markets abstractly, as the arenas in which work­ ers exc hange their l abor power in return for wages, status, and other j o b rewards. The concept, therefore ,

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 1, 1979

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