Sociology | Work & Occupations
S315 | 4076 | Michelson


Currently there is much public rhetoric in the United States
about "freedom."  While most of the public debate revolves around
political and legal institutions, this class will instead evaluate
the question of freedom and control from a neglected but arguably
more important perspective:  the perspective of the workplace, an
institution in which most of us, at some point in our lives, spend
most of our waking hours.  We will consider the causes and
consequences and the changing nature of power in work organizations
in cross-national perspective, namely by comparing China, Japan, and
the United States and the ways and reasons why the workplace has
changed in recent decades in each of these countries. Are
individuals any more "free" from workplace control in capitalist
democracies than in socialist societies?  Under the pressures of
globalization, are work organizations around the world becoming more
similar?  If so, are they converging towards greater "freedom" for
the worker or towards greater organizational control of the worker?
Course materials will include journal articles, book chapters, and