The Sociology of Work
by Theodore Caplow
University of Minnesota Press, 1954
Paper: 978-0-8166-5999-9


The Sociology of Work was first published in 1954. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

What are the effects of working conditions, rewards, and habits upon the institution of the family? What are the typical forms of occupational segregation, and what are the effects of such segregation upon the general society? How are the social roles appropriate to each occupation created and sustained? What social processes determine the evolution of occupational groupings and the distribution of population among them?

This work, a basic study in occupational sociology, throws light on such questions as these. Professor Caplow describes the occupational system with reference to specialization, occupational status, the formation of professions, mobility, the patterning of individual careers, the occupations of women, and the prospects for continued improvement of working conditions. He draws upon hundreds of empirical studies for his discussions.

The book has been warmly received by reviewers and readers. Robert Dublin commented in the American Journal of Sociology: "This volume will long stand as a sourcebook of hypotheses and thesis topics for students of industrial sociology." Writing in the American Sociological Review, George Caspar Homans called it "a wide-ranging and hard-headed study of American jobs, their place and nature." Robert C. Stone said in Social Forces: "The work is a major contribution to the study of social structure."

The many specialist workers who are concerned with occupational problems—industrial and applied psychologists, personnel and guidance workers, wage economists, labor relations experts, and others—will find this a valuable reference work. It is, of course, pertinent to the interests of general sociologists and anthropologists, and is used as a text in a number of courses in occupational sociology.

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