decomposition of labour

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The process of differentiation within the working class, such that it is no longer a homogeneous group, but is instead stratified internally by skill level. An early statement of the thesis will be found in Ralf Dahrendorf (Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society, 1959), although this has now been superseded by debates about the contemporary labour-market segmentation, and the extent to which the industrial proletariat of capitalist societies has always been internally divided (notably the so-called labour aristocracy debate).

Subjects: Sociology.

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