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The ‘Over-Paced’ American: Recent Trends in the Intensification of Work

Workplace Temporalities

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1268-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-384-6

Publication date: 1 June 2007


Little is known about temporal trends in the intensification of work in America, or its determinants. This study analyzed two representative samples of the American labor force, and found that the pace of work increased significantly between 1977 and 1997. In a decomposition analysis, two-thirds of the increase in work intensification was attributable to objective economic changes, in particular job complexity and the length of work schedules. Future research should further explore the role of technology in quickening the pace of work, but not ignore the possibility that the demands of family life also affect perceptions of work intensification.


Maume, D.J. and Purcell, D.A. (2007), "The ‘Over-Paced’ American: Recent Trends in the Intensification of Work", Rubin, B.A. (Ed.) Workplace Temporalities (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 251-283.



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