Financialised Capitalism

Topics: Employment, Labour economics, Labor Pages: 6 (2207 words) Published: December 28, 2012
Financialised Capitalism
To answer an exam question on this, look at it alongside the lecture about Fordism and look at the diagram. Need a basis of comparison if we are going to say if job quality has improved and control has changed – changing from what? There used to be claims that Fordism was being replaced by post-Fordism – a system of work and employment relations which was different and better in job quality than Fordism. Most people say that Fordism declined in 1970’s and by the mid-80’s, something different was emerging. But that was 25 years ago now so these claims about post-Fordism (can also be called the new economy) are old so we have 2 decades of change to evaluate. Financialised capitalism – Since the global financial crash of 2008 we have had to adjust to the fact that we are living in a different economic system which wasn’t envisaged in the 80’s when things looked a lot more optimistic. Some of us began to argue in the last decade that it wasn’t post-Fordism that had emerged but instead, financialised capitalism. There are 2 papers about this on Myplace summarising trends; the slides we have are a summary of that paper. Themes’ evaluating the trajectories of change – if you want to interrogate how much change has taken place then you go back to the 4 C’s (continuity, context, content, cohesiveness) with emphasis on cohesiveness. If we are going to evaluate the emergence of a new system of working employment relations then the emphasis is on the word system; system implies interconnected parts that work together to produce something that works. For someone to claim that post-Fordism has emerged as a successor to another system, they have to show it is systemic and that the various parts hang together because otherwise it wouldn’t be a system and because for a system to be effective it must generate mutual gains (more than one economic actor can benefit from a change). Systems can’t work effectively unless people feel they have a stake in them. When we are evaluating the trajectory of change we have to look at the individual trajectories of change in each sphere then see what they add up to and what they add up to is the cohesiveness bit. Individual trajectories – contemporary workplaces are complex structures in which there are lots of different things going on at the same time; you need to divide them into distinctive domains: work, employment, accumulation and corporate structures. Work and employment can be added up under the heading of job quality. You must keep in mind that if you ask what a good job is people might answer differently because they are drawing on different measures. Are there different trends in work to employment? Work is the monotony bit – the task; employment is the conditions in which the tasks take place. These are different trajectories. Whether a job is a good job or not is not dependent on what HR managers do – they can influence this but ultimately they are not pulling the leaders of economic change to restructure it. E.g. we now have 20-25% youth unemployment and over 50% youth unemployment in southern European countries. A lot of the jobs being created in some countries are more precarious than they used to be – this is the shape of labour market change; this is nothing to do with HR managers. Corporate structures – what kind of organisations are people working for? Fragmented work kicks in here. Structures in organisations are much more fragmented – e.g. it isn’t as clear who you are working for. Cohesiveness and systemic is shown in the Fordism diagram (in the lecture slides). The model starts with markets (accumulation regime), goes into larger corporations (corporate structure), and the last 2 boxes are division of labour and then low trust is the employment bit – these are the 4 trajectories. When people were writing this stuff in the mid 1980’s they were projecting the way the trends were going so a lot of it was exploratory and this was the...
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