Higher Education

The Social Organization of Work, 5th Edition

  • Randy Hodson Ohio State University
  • Teresa A. Sullivan The University of Virginia
  • ISBN-10: 111130095X  |  ISBN-13: 9781111300951
  • 528 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2002, 1995
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $195.75
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THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF WORK, Fifth Edition, takes an analytical approach to the study of work that not only identifies and discusses substantive issues but also allows students the opportunity to better develop their analysis, reasoning, and argumentative skills. The authors achieve this by combining their key areas of expertise--industrial sociology, occupations, and professions--to present a unified view of the sociology of work. Chapter topics are organized around the framework of five key themes: technology, global perspectives, class relations, gender, and race. The world of work, how it is changing, and the implications of these changes for individuals and families are thoroughly explored in this contemporary and relevant text.

Features and Benefits

  • Streamlined structure: Reorganized Table of Contents, specifically within Section II: The Personal Context of Work, helps students build their understanding of the course material more effectively than ever before.
  • Part I provides background material for the study of work. Chapter 1 offers an overview of work in past societies and identifies key themes that will be followed throughout the book. Chapter 2 explains how we study work in contemporary society. This chapter will be of value both to those wishing to specialize in the sociology of work and to others interested in understanding research findings based on studies of individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Part II, made up of Chapters 3–6, deals with our work roles and how these influence our daily lives. The topics covered here include finding meaningful work, inequality and discrimination at work, integrating work and family, and participation in unions and other collective organizations at work.
  • Part III, made up of Chapters 7–10, deals with the technology and organization of work. The chapters parallel the major economic sectors: agriculture and manufacturing, high-technology industries, and services. Changes in the technology and organization of work give rise to the transformation of occupations discussed in the next section.
  • Part IV, composed of Chapters 11–14, deals with the occupational roles that we hold and with the unique sets of skills that are needed to perform these roles. The chapters in this section focus on professionals, managers, clerical workers, sales workers, and marginal workers.
  • Part V, made up of Chapters 15–17, focuses on societal-level consequences of the changing nature of work. The topics covered in this final part include the world economy and the role of huge transnational corporations in molding the world of tomorrow.
  • The social psychological aspects of work, including such concepts as role overload and role conflict have been moved forward in the book, starting in the Meaningful Work chapter (new chapter 3).
  • The text fulfills general education requirements through the overall approach, pedagogy, and features that include: “Cross-Cultural Issues” boxes with original ethnographic material.
  • Controversial changes brought on by the technology revolution and globalization are addressed. The authors indicate what side they are on and why.
  • Issues dealing with women and minorities are integrated in every chapter.
  • The text takes an analytical approach to develop students’ skills of analysis, reasoning, and argumentation.

Table of Contents

1. The Evolution of Work.
2. Studying the World of Work.
3. Meaningful Work.
4. Class, Race, and Gender.
5. Work and Family.
6. Collective Responses to Work.
7. Technology and Organization.
8. From Field, Mine, and Factory.
9. The High-Technology Revolution.
10. Services.
11. Professions and Professionals.
12. Managers.
13. Administrative Support and Sales.
14. Marginal Jobs.
15. The World of the Large Corporation.
16. Globalization.
17. The Future of Work.

What's New

  • Inclusion of more first-hand ethnographic material in which workers speak with their own voices to tie conceptual material to “real-world” perspectives more effectively.
  • Increase in highlighting of the conceptual underpinnings of each section through more extensive use of paragraph-level headings.
  • Updates to data, concepts, and sources.
  • Rigorous edits to the manuscript for length and style so that each chapter can be read in one sitting.
  • NEW Throughout this edition, you will find much that is new, including updated data, information, events, concepts, sources, recommended readings, internet sites, and films; additional evidence from original social science research; a strengthened focus on globalization of work and its implications; more explicit connections between sociology of work issues and more general sociological themes; and a highlight on the critical nature of our perspective in going beyond existing popular assumptions about the sources and solutions to workplace issues.
  • NEW Chapter 1, "The Evolution of Work," offers deepened connections to founding issues and scholarship in sociology, as well as a more explicitly prefigured globalization as a pivotal issue of the 21st century.
  • NEW Chapter 2, "Studying the World of Work," includes a new example of the case study method, written by an anthropologist, to amplify cross-disciplinary perspectives in the chapter. The case is based on General Motors, a company of interest to scholars of work because of its multinational success and its recent bankruptcy proceedings (Box 2.3).
  • NEW Chapter 3, "Meaningful Work," offers an increased focus both on stressful and rewarding work, and has linked issues of meaning and work satisfaction to broader themes in sociology.
  • NEW Chapter 4, "Class, Race and Gender," offers much new content, including sections on affirmative action to include the history of how it has been applied and changed over time in implementation, consequences, and limitations including new materials on white backlash against affirmative action and continuities and change in racial prejudice; updated data from 2010 BLS and the 2010 U.S. Census publication; and new suggested reading, movies, You Tube videos and PBS videos.
  • NEW In addition to current data, Chapter 5, "Work and Family," offers increased integration of class, race and gender themes into discussion of family and personal life cycle. The authors have also developed new theme of spill-over between work and personal life with both positive and negative effects.
  • NEW In Chapter 6, "Collective Responses to Work," the authors have focused on current challenges to union organizing at work and alternatives, such as community organizing and living wage campaign, and discuss globalization and transnational challenges to union organizing in more depth.
  • NEW Chapter 7, "Technology and Organization," covers increased linkages of technology and organization to daily lived experiences of young workers, and offers an amplified discussion of corporate accountability and its centrality to the economic issues facing industrially advanced nations today.
  • NEW Chapter 8, "From Field, Mine, and Factory," discusses materials on organic and green production and technologies, as well as the implication of global production chains linking the nations and workers of the world into a unified economic unit.
  • NEW Chapter 9, "The High-Tech Workplace," covers new material on the growing field of nano-technology in addition to the continuing expansion of information technology, as well as technological invasions of privacy inside and outside the workplace.
  • NEW Chapter 10, "Services," presents a new box on geriatric care management, which documents an emerging occupation in the service area, to explain its origin and some of the conflicts involved in creating new occupational specialties.
  • NEW Among many updates, Chapter 12, "Managers," offers an increased focus on challenges of women and minorities in management jobs; a new box on managing a major league baseball team, which illustrates how the issues of management extend to all sorts of organizations; and a new box on failure and fraud among American managers, which includes information on the failures that immediately preceded the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008, as well as a presentation of the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff.
  • NEW Chapter 16, "Globalization," presents an expanded discussion of resistance to globalization by workers and communities, and provides increased detail on the range of national reactions to globalization with increased content on both European reactions and reactions in the developing world.
  • NEW Chapter 17, "The Future of Work," offers increased attention to the issue of international labor migration as a component of contemporary work organization, as well as increased linkages between emerging themes in the organization of work and the opportunities and choices facing students as they complete college and enter the world of work.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor’s Resource Manual and Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1111671052 | ISBN-13: 9781111671051)

Available for download on the instructor companion site, the Instructor’s Manual includes a chapter outline, key concepts, learning objectives, lecture topics, and class activities. All content has been fully updated and revised for the fifth edition. The test bank includes twenty-five multiple choice and ten short answer and essay questions. Additionally, the test bank is divided into comprehension and application sections.

AIDS in Africa DVD  (ISBN-10: 0495171832 | ISBN-13: 9780495171836)

Expand your students’ global perspective of HIV/AIDS with this award-winning documentary series focused on controlling HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. Films focus on caregivers in the faith community; how young people share messages of hope through song and dance; the relationship of HIV/AIDS to gender, poverty, stigma, education, and justice; and the story of two HIV-positive women helping others.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Randy Hodson

Randy Hodson received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and is currently Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University. His research interests include worker-management conflict, managerial behavior, coworker relations, and technological change. His international interests include ethnic relations in the states of the former Yugoslavia and the socialism to market transition. He is editor of the JAI Press annual series on RESEARCH IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF WORK and is currently working on a National Science Foundation sponsored project to content code book-length organizational ethnographies. He has received a Distinguished University Teaching Award from Ohio State University, as well as numerous awards for his research and scholarship. He is currently the editor of AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW. For more information, see his website at: http://www.soc.sbs.ohio-state.edu/rdh/.

Teresa A. Sullivan

Teresa A. Sullivan received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is currently President of the University of Virginia, where she is also George M. Kaufman Presidential Professor of Sociology. She teaches the sociology of work. Her research interests are the demography of the labor force and economic marginality. She has received three awards for undergraduate teaching, and she has received numerous honors and awards for her research.