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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1999

Robert M. Blackburn

Investigates the possible social causes of unemployment; focuses on how competition among employers can increase and perpetuate already high levels of unemployment. Starts…

2841

Abstract

Investigates the possible social causes of unemployment; focuses on how competition among employers can increase and perpetuate already high levels of unemployment. Starts from the premise that, despite divergent attitudes, most industrialized nations make some collective provision for the unemployed, with firms ultimately bearing the costs. Describes how, although a firm may reduce its labour force to save money, it is ultimately, albeit collectively, paying the costs of unemployment via taxes to the State ‐ the main effect is to redistribute the costs to other organizations; depicts a resulting downward spiral in the economy. Looks at the relationships between increased productivity and the costs to society. Concludes that competitive unemployment is a reality and suggests possible solutions.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 19 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1999

Robert M. Blackburn

Looks at the historical positioning of housework as unpaid and questions the correctness of this idea. States that there is a fundamental theoretical error in defining…

Abstract

Looks at the historical positioning of housework as unpaid and questions the correctness of this idea. States that there is a fundamental theoretical error in defining housework as unpaid as market concepts are being applied to non‐market work. Continues to distinguish between the two markets considering the features of both, outlining the gender differences and the recent changes in the twentieth century.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 19 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1999

Robert M. Blackburn

Introduces the different types of inequality. Argues the distinction between inequality and differences. Asks if social inequality is important or a mistaken ideal…

2263

Abstract

Introduces the different types of inequality. Argues the distinction between inequality and differences. Asks if social inequality is important or a mistaken ideal? Briefly looks at the different forms inequality takes.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 19 no. 9/10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Robert M. Blackburn

1658

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Robert M. Blackburn

The purpose of this paper is to explain the difference between social inequality and identity.

10733

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the difference between social inequality and identity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a conceptual view.

Findings

The paper notes that the concepts are often confused, as in arguments that equality is impossible because everyone is different. It is pointed out that equality and inequality are not opposites; that equality is simply the zero point on the infinite range of inequality. The existence of inequality depends on socially recognised difference. The difference may often be simply a basis for socially imposed inequalities, as with ethnicity and gender, or it may be a real cause of inequality as with health differences. Nine important inter‐related bases of inequality are considered. Equality does not require zero inequality on all aspects but merely a balance of inequalities. However, the complexity means it is difficult to define or recognise total equality. The nearest would be that all individuals are regarded and treated as equally important. The zero point of inequality may be unattainable, but the real issue is the actual extent of inequality, which could be very substantially reduced.

Originality/value

This original paper is of value in correcting some misconceptions and improving understanding of an important subject.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Richard L. Zijdeman

This paper seeks to study the influence of industrialisation, urbanisation and means of communication on the association between father's and son's occupational status in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to study the influence of industrialisation, urbanisation and means of communication on the association between father's and son's occupational status in all 117 municipalities in the province of Zeeland, The Netherlands from 1811 to 1890.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses from both the logic of industrialism thesis and reproduction theory are tested with multi‐level analyses on data on the individual as well as the contextual level. First, the paper studies the influence of contextual factors on intergenerational occupational status attainment. Second, it uses relatively large‐scale individual and contextual historical data over a long period of time.

Findings

The paper adds to the current literature by showing that the association of father's and son's occupational status differs between municipalities and over time and that these differences are partly explained by industrialisation, urbanisation and means of communication. All findings point in one direction, that the province of Zeeland became a more closed society in the nineteenth century. This finding goes against claims that the increasing openness in Dutch society, found after the Second World War, is a trend that came about with the rise of industrialisation.

Originality/value

The results provide support for the reproduction theory and they refute the logic of the industrialism thesis.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Paul S. Lambert, Koon Leai Larry Tan, Kenneth Prandy, Vernon Gayle and Manfred Max Bergman

This paper aims to present reasons why social classifications which use occupations should seek to adopt “specific” approaches which are tailored to the country, time…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present reasons why social classifications which use occupations should seek to adopt “specific” approaches which are tailored to the country, time period and gender of the subjects under study.

Design/methodology/approach

The relative motivations for adopting a specific approach to social classifications are discussed and theoretical perspectives on specificity and empirical evidence on the contribution of specific approaches are reviewed. Also the practical costs of implementing specific social classifications are evaluated, and the authors' development of the “GEODE” data service (grid‐enabled occupational data environment), which seeks to assist this process, is discussed.

Findings

Specific approaches make a non‐trivial difference to the conclusions drawn from analyses of occupation‐based social classifications. It is argued that the GEODE service has reduced the practical challenges of implementing specific measures.

Research limitations/implications

There remain conceptual and pragmatic challenges in working with specific occupation‐based social classifications. Non‐specific (“universal”) measures are adequate for many purposes.

Practical implications

The paper argues that there are few excuses for ignoring specific occupation‐based social classifications.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that recent technological developments have shifted the balance in the long‐standing debate between universal and specific approaches to occupation‐based social classifications.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Jennifer Jarman and Parminder Singh Chopra

This paper aims to argue that the World Bank‐sanctioned strategy of investing in knowledge economy infrastructure will not make a developing country competitive in the…

3896

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that the World Bank‐sanctioned strategy of investing in knowledge economy infrastructure will not make a developing country competitive in the highest value activities such as research, design and innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines Malaysia's efforts to increase its national income and change its position from a “middle‐income” country to one with a standard of living equivalent to a developed country by 2020. Specifically, it analyses Malaysia's strategy of constructing a multimedia super corridor, a multibillion‐dollar state‐led project to attract knowledge‐intensive operations to Malaysia.

Findings

Despite the creation of a world‐class infrastructure, the Malaysian government has not been successful in realising its original aim of creating a cutting‐edge multimedia research and development hub. Instead a thriving business support services sector has developed. Therefore, it is by no means a guaranteed way to close the gap between rich and poor nations.

Research limitations/implications

Official data relating to the activities of firms not only are limited but also have been made problematic by changes in categorisation over the relevant years. Analysis that is more conclusive requires the publication of official data with greater detail about firm activities and a standardised reporting format over time.

Originality/value

This is one of the first academic studies discussing the rise of the business services industry in Malaysia and its relationship with the MSC infrastructure development project.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Yaojun Li and Anthony Heath

This paper seeks to investigate ethnic disadvantages in the UK labour market in the last three decades. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on data from the most…

1162

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate ethnic disadvantages in the UK labour market in the last three decades. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on data from the most authoritative government surveys, the gross and net differences in employment status and class position between minority ethnic and White British men covering 34 years (1972‐2005) are analysed.

Findings

White British and White Other men were generally advantaged in employment and in access to professional and managerial (salariat) jobs. White Irish men were making steady progress, and have now caught up with the White British. Black men were much more likely to be unemployed in recession years but progress is discernible with Black Caribbeans approaching, and Black Africans frequently outperforming, the White British in gaining access to the salariat. Indian and Chinese men were behind the White British in employment but little different in access to the salariat. Pakistani/Bangladeshi men were most disadvantaged in both respects.

Originality/value

This is the most systematic research in this area so far, using the most authoritative data and covering such a long period.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Juliet Stone, Gopalakrishnan Netuveli and David Blane

The aim of this paper is to describe the use of sequence analysis to model trajectories of life‐course economic activity status, within a broader research agenda aimed at…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to describe the use of sequence analysis to model trajectories of life‐course economic activity status, within a broader research agenda aimed at improving understanding of the relationship between socioeconomic position and health.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis used data on 288 participants of the Boyd Orr Stratified Sub‐Sample, comprising a combination of prospective and retrospective information on economic activity status, as well as health in early old age. Economic activity was coded as a time‐based sequence of states for each participant based on six‐month periods throughout their lives. Economic activity was classified as: pre‐labour market; full‐time employment; part‐time employment; housewife; made redundant; stopped work due to illness; retired; other unemployed; or not applicable. Optimal matching analysis was carried out to produce a matrix of distances between each sequence, which was then used as the basis for cluster analysis.

Findings

The optimal matching analysis resulted in the classification of individuals into five economic activity status trajectories: full‐time workers (transitional exit), part‐time housewives, career breakers, full‐time workers (late entry, early exit), and full‐time housewives.

Originality/value

The paper presents the case for using sequence analysis as a methodological tool to facilitate a more interdisciplinary approach to the measurement of the life‐course socioeconomic position, in particular attempting to integrate the empirical emphasis of epidemiological research with the more theoretical contributions of sociology. This may in turn help generate a framework within which to examine the relationships between life‐course socioeconomic position and outcomes such as health in later life.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 28 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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