Conclusions to Part I

Alastair J. Reid

in The Tide of Democracy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780719081033
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702949 | DOI:
Conclusions to Part I

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This chapter presents conclusions to Part I, covering Chapters 1–5. The development of modern economies is certainly accompanied by an increasing division of labour and an increasing use of machinery, but these do not necessarily lead to reductions in the levels of skill required from their workforces. Such a consequence should not simply be taken for granted, and indeed the preceding studies of occupations involved in the British shipbuilding industry have indicated that it would be a highly questionable conclusion to reach. For, not only do these observations of the content of jobs and the composition of the workforce indicate a marked stability in levels of skill, but they also indicate that this was not just an aberration, perhaps the result of the resistance of well-organised labour, the unusual customer-specificity of the products, or even a managerial preference for self-regulating workers.

Keywords: machinery; skilled labour; labour force; British shipbuilding industry

Chapter.  4608 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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