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Title: The redivision of labour : two firms in nineteenth century south east Scotland
Author: Holley, J. C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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With the aim of shedding light on the process of modernization in the advanced Western countries, this is a study of the origins and effects of the division of labour during industrialization. Two firms from nineteenth century South East Scotland are examined during the mechanization of their main production processes. Household census records are linked to the wage books of the firms and to the property valuation rolls in order to obtain a wide range of information on a small population of industrial workers and their families. Before mechanization, the labour process is seen to have been influenced by a pre-existing age and sexual division of labour, and workshop production is discussed in relation to structure of reward and control over work. The effect of the introduction of machines is examined in relation to the speed of abolition of jobs, the strategies of resistance, and the careers of those involved. The central theme of this thesis concerns the way in which the work process was redivided so as to create new kinds and proportions of jobs. The outcane of this redivision of labour is seen as the result of a managerial strategy aiming both to reduce costs and to achieve a real subordination of labour, conflicting with labour's own workplace and domestic organization. The result was new divisions between skilled and unskilled, mental and manual labour, and new age- and sex-specific occupations, creating a 'virtal labour market' and a potential labour aristocracy. Family standard of living was found to be correlated with head's income for the high paid, and with the demographic and labour-participation characteristics of households headed by labourers. Families responded to age and sex-specific employment patterns with selective migration, raising local living standards for the low paid above those that were possible through the whole life cycle. It is concluded that the differentiation of advanced societies as a result of the division of labour can be seen as the product of human agency and not simply as an abstract functional imperative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available