Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

The Social Organization of Work, 5th Edition

  • Randy Hodson
  • Teresa A. Sullivan
  • ISBN-10: 111130095X
  • ISBN-13: 9781111300951
  • 528 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2002, 1995
  • COPYRIGHT: 2012 Published
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About the Product

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.


  • 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.

About the Author

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:

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.

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.

New to this edition

  • 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.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

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.

The Wadsworth Sociology Video Library, Vol. 1 (featuring BBC Motion Gallery Video Clips)  (ISBN-10: 0495909734 | ISBN-13: 9780495909736)

Enhance your lectures with new video clips from the BBC Motion Gallery and CBS news. Addressing a variety of sociological topics, these videos are divided into short segments, perfect for introducing key concepts with footage sourced from some of the most remarkable collections in the world.