Sociology in the Workplace

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1. Identify and explain the four (4) ways in which marginal jobs deviate from the norms expected of work. Then explain which members of the labor force have the highest likelihood of working in marginal job and why.

According to the text, norms that are expected out of work are: (1) the job content should be legal; (2) the job should be institutionally regular; (3) the job should be relatively stable; (4) the job should provide adequate pay with sufficient hours of work every week to make a living (Hodson, & Sullivan, 2007, p. 327). Marginal jobs are those that diverge from one or more of these expected work norms. This may be subjective because two people might disagree on whether or not wages earned for a job are adequate.

Marginal jobs appear to be more common in highly competitive industries. Employers may implore various different tactics to offset competition. An organization may create low-wage, unstable jobs and laying-off workers due to economic difficulties. This is beneficial in conserving capital or shifting the company’s product lines or goals but comes at a cost of employee morale. In an extreme case, employers may decide to shift jobs to another region or country where lower wages are acceptable. This could also be intensified by giving marginal jobs to those with disabilities, limited language skills, lack of education, or do not possess sufficient credentials to work according to laws and regulations.

2. Contrast Skill Upgrading, Deskilling and the Mixed Effects positions and answer the question: Identify which of these theories best explains how technology has impacted the professions. Identify which of these theories best explains how technology has impacted workers in marginal jobs. Provide evidence to support your arguments.

The skill-upgrading thesis is the argument that continuing improvements in technology advances the skills and qualification of workers because of the constant requirement for retraining and...
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