The propensity to strike in relation to social power
The thesis contains blO very distinct parts . The first and longer segment att empts
to test a number of hypotheses concerning the relationship between the propensity to
strike o f certain industrial workers and ·their ' social power ' . Various measures of
power, based upon published or easily accessible information , were used in three
industr ial organisations v.'hj ch ""ere taken to be representative o f t he coal mining ,
docks 'and woollen industries, On the bC'\sis of this work , it \Vas thought possibl e
to construe the elementary form a nd content of the ' objective power structure ' o f
each company .
Intervi el'ling took p ace in a colli ery and on docks premises ... lith nround 200 workers ,
. their r eprescntative~ and management in an attempt to assess the d ' mensions of the
'subj ectj.ve power structure ' . The results of the interviewing were thought
explicable only in terms of a model of two social processes acting in contr adiction~
one ""ith the other . 'l'he f i rst part is drawn t o a close with a consideration of the
theoretical and practical conc lusions to which the empirical work has led .
In the ~ho;rter ' se Gond segt1'\ent , the f i.1;'st p~r t is subjected to an ' autocriti,!ue' i.n
which an attack is launched on the whole empirical enterprise not jus.t .. as .eyidenced
in this thesis but in social science in gener a l . An alternative to ' e~~iricism ' is
suggested which, if taken up, ~,ould lead to very different kinds of work being done
in the social sciences . In particular, the adoption of 'realism ' (of the kind
advocated) would preclude all empirical research of the type upon which the thesis
largely rests. This second part is dr a~m to conclusion by a suggestion that it is
unlikely that a realist philosophy of science will be widely adopted for a number of
deep-seated institutional reasons.