Presentation on theme: "1 Introduction to Social Analysis Week 3, What work does to people. Buddy Holly ‘Blue Monday’"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Social Analysis Week 3, What work does to people. Buddy Holly ‘Blue Monday’
2 Starting points An economist looks at work through the labour market. Rational individuals calculating the profit or loss in buying or selling labour What does the experience of work feel like. What does it do to people Slave auction tp://www.bowdoin.edu/~prael/projects/gsonnen/page5.html
3 What does work do to people? One level impacts on their bodies, industrial diseases, from miners lung, to RSI. On a social level we know it affects how people behave, a teacher talks in a loud voice and is for ever explaining things to people. Prison warders and traffic wardens as a personality type. We know historically it was difficult to turn rural folk, peasants into a reliable efficient industrial work force. What about the change impact as industrial work changes and disappears. Hiring fair
4 What does work do to people? How and why is work constitutive of the person? Capitalism and urbanism create specific work institutions. How do people internalise or resist social stratification and unequal relationships? Ford Maddox Brown - Work
5 Why and how do people get a sense of self worth from work? Just a cog in the machine? ‘Who cleans the toilets?’ reveals social hierarchy How does the person who cleans the toilets sustain a positive self identity? Charlie Chaplin Modern Times
6 Studies: Sennett and Cobb 1972 The Hidden Injuries of Class Cambridge University Press SEN Account of interviews with working men in Boston.
7 Sennet and Cobb, Hidden Injuries of Class Based around interviews with working men in Boston in 1950s. These men were materially more affluent than their parents and many were second generation immigrants. They had experienced post war boom with drastic changes in occupational structure, in particular the growth of white collar work and the drop in industrial occupations. But to Sennet and Cobb they seemed angry and discontent and ambivalent about their circumstances. Sennet and Cobb put this down to the consequences of class in a meritocractic society. i.e. one in which class difference in power and respect is legitimated by “badges of ability” – educational certification.
8 Sennet and Cobb’s book is about the social psychology of class relationships. How do those at the bottom of a society which sees its-self as a successful individualistic meritocracy deal with this situation? Does the manual worker accept that he is untalented stupid or how does he reconcile himself to his social position? Values of - masculinity, strength, manual dexterity, toughness, generosity, loyalty, directness …. But to be middle class is to put on a veneer of polite insincerity necessary for white collar work, almost to be effeminate. It doesn’t produce anything valuable only more paper.
9 Sennet and Cobb Illustrate the ambivalence with the interviews with a man Rossarro who they describe as feeling illegitimate intruder despite his apparent material success… Despite the fact that he gained entree he doesn’t believe he deserves to be respected even by his better educated wife. Rossarro sees poverty... as depriving men of the capacity to act rationally, to exercise self-control. A poor man, therefore, has to want upward mobility in order to establish dignity in his own life, and dignity means specifically moving toward a position in which he deals with the world in some controlled, emotionally restrained way.
10 Rissarro believes people of a higher class have a power to judge him because they seem internally more developed human beings; … He feels compelled to put himself up on their level in order to earn respect. ….- all of this is set against a revulsion against the work of educated people in the bank and feeling that manual labour has more dignity. “The American Dream for my father is to see his kids get a college education, something he never had. …he never really forced it on us, but we know that this was really going to make him happy - that we could get a college degree.”
11 Ambivalence and emotion Sennet suggest people react to power in complicated ambivalent ways. Working people feel society has limited their freedom more than it has limited that of middle- class people - freedom to develop powers inside themselves not just restricted how much money they can make. Result: they are both angry and ambivalent about their right be angry
12 Problems of meritocracy Ability as the badge of an individual - ability is the badge of individual worth, calculations of ability create an image of few individual standing out from the mass, that to be an individual by virtue of ability is to have the right to transcend one’s social origins. These are the basic supposition of a society that produces feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy in the lives of people like Rissarro, Kartides and James [three of their informants]. To connect the ideology and the people we need to understand what happens to people when they wear badges of ability. Leaves the necessity of proving oneself in a meritocratic society. Whom shall I marry? I choose, but the secret question more destructive, am I the kind of person worth loving? Theory connects social structure of work with inner emotions
13 Ideology of meritocracy The badge of ability seems the perfect tool to legitimise power. This concept of human potential says that the few are more richly endowed than the many. Having demonstrated more ability and gained ‘more’ dignity by virtue of greater personal power, it is logical that they ought to rule the many. The more they /the masses/ surrender their own freedom to the few the less chance they have of respecting themselves as people with any countervailing rights.
14 sacrifice If you feel inadequate and unfulfilled in demonstrating your worth, it helps to be doing it for the good of someone-else / the kids/. A working class person has less chance than a middle class person of sacrificing successfully. To understand the inability of a working class person to sacrifice “successfully” we should start by looking at an unspoken social contract demanded by sacrificial acts.
15 Sacrifice (continued) “I have worked hard for you - you must do what I want”. Sacrifice and fear of betrayal leads to competitiveness in children’s achievements. “the tragedy of the loving sacrifice is that those who are pushed to feel grateful cannot” Sacrifice then legitimises a person view of himself as an individual with the right to feel anger. This anger [of self sacrifice]… permits you to practice that most insidious and devastating form of self-righteousness where you, oppressed, in your anger turn on others who are also oppressed rather than on those intangible, impersonal forces that have made you all vulnerable.
16 Sacrifice (continued) The sacrificer feels anger and betrayal at the those who don’t sacrifice - welfare scroungers – the shameless who get good sex, relaxation, fun time. David Threlfall as Frank Gallager
17 Sennet and Cobb’s conclusion The striving to become a developed and therefore respect-able person is an incentive that keeps men consuming and working hard. “As we have argued throughout this book, the power of class today is not that it makes individual psychology reflect the behaviour of the “system” - we reject for instance Marcuse’s idea that people on the bottom have tastes similar to those on the top and therefore keep the Establishment alive. Rather the way in which people try to keep free of the emotional grip of the social structure, unintentionally systematically in aggregate keeps the class order going.” Unintended consequences of social action
18 Pei-Chia Lan 2006 Global Cinderellas: Migrant Domestics and Newly Rich Employers in Taiwan Duke University Press..
19 Lamont, Michele, 2000 The dignity of working men : morality and the boundaries of race, class, and immigration New York : Russell Sage Foundation, Harvard University Press, Contrasts French and American perspectives on race and class and the way people construct valued identities. A key difference being that is France but not the US, race is constructed as a badge of foreign or immigrant status.
20 Arlie Hochschilde (1983) The Managed Heart A study of emotional work, flight attendants (air hostesses) and debt collectors. Emotional labour 08/06/fly-me-again.htmlhttp://craigmcnamara.blogspot.com/20 08/06/fly-me-again.html
21 Emotional labour Links to Goffman, who ideas we explore next week, through a discussion of acting. She distinguished surface acting, being able to give the impression of emotion through control of facial muscles and imitative action – which is fragile and limited in sustainability from method acting, in which through imaginatively thinking into a situation real emotions are felt which thus expressed in their full, complex and more sustainable manner
22 Emotion as signal One model of emotion as simply a biological reponses felt in as a consequence of particular stimulii. But emotion is felt as an interaction between the body and the conscious brain and active subject. People can conjure up emotions, feel them and change them by conscious thought – people try and manipulate their mood and feelings. Emotions give a signal as to feelings and behaviour which are not governed by rational or calculative decisions. We wouldn’t be human without emotion. How emotions are labelled and interpreted is cultural
23 Socialisation into emotional work Training schools Advice on how to maintain commercially desirable attitudes and behaviour towards passengers and clients. Displacement, think positively, think of the drunk with the wandering hands as a child, think that his wife has just died
24 Gendered division of emotional labour “As a result of this status effect, flight attending is one sort of job for a woman and another sort of job for a man. For a man the principal hidden task is to maintain his identity as a man in a “woman’s occupation” and occasionally to cope with tough passengers “for” female flight attendants. For a woman, the principle hidden task is to deal with the status effect: the absence of a social shield against the displaced anger and frustration of passengers.”
25 Male authority and willingness of others to obey Hostess – sexual and domestic (food) availability. Female mothering nurturing role Male aggression as required for debt collecting
26 Costs of emotional labour Last chapter is called “the search for authenticity” The human costs of emotional labour – Acting and knowing ones true self “Those who perform emotional labor in the course of giving service are like those who perform physical labor in the course of making things: both are subject to the rules of mass production. But when the product- the thing to be engineered, mass-produced, and subjected to speed up and slowdown – is a smile, a mood, a feeling, or a relationship, it come to belong more to the organization and less to the self. And so in the country that most publicly celebrates the individual, more people privately wonder, without tracing the questions to its deepest social root: What do I really feel?”