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The Market Illusion: Re‐reading work in advanced economies

Colin C. Williams (Professor of Work Organisation, The Management Centre, University of Leicester)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 October 2005



This article evaluates critically the meta‐narrative that a powerful, expansive, hegemonic and totalising market sphere is penetrating deeper into each and every corner of everyday life in the ‘advanced market economies’. Drawing theoretical inspiration from an emerging corpus of post structuralist thought that has begun to re‐read the mean ing of work, this dom i nant dis course is here challenged by re‐evaluating the nature and trajectories of work. This will reveal that the organisation of work is grounded in a plurality of economic practices of which market work represents only one segment. Nor is any evidence identified of a uni‐dimensional and linear trajectory towards a hegemonic market. In the final section, therefore, it is shown to be now necessary to engage in a politics of re‐representation of work in these so‐called ‘market’ societies so as to open them up to re‐signification.



Williams, C.C. (2005), "The Market Illusion: Re‐reading work in advanced economies", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 25 No. 10/11, pp. 106-118.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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