The Importance of Informal Work Practices at Blue Collar Occupations

1371 Words 6 Pages
Nowadays work became one of the defining characteristics of a person. Work might influence one’s perception of the world, health, social ties, and emotional state (Vallas, Finlay and Wharton 2009: 5-7). As a result, work is not only a means through which a person earns income, but also a mechanism of bringing a person into society. There are virtually thousand types of work such as teachers, plumbers, cashiers, scholars, engineers, doctors, astronauts, poets, janitors and so on, each of which has its specific duties and tasks which provide a value to society. This variation in work leads to complexity of organizing labor. Hence, when entering job market one signs a contract that outlines both employee and employer duties, which covers …show more content…
In particular, assembly – line workers claimed that since they cannot set the pace of their own work, the pace dictated by the assembly – line diminished the quality of output they produced (Walker and Guest 1952: 51-60). As a result, blue – collar occupations can be identified as the type of work which is characterized by physical labor paid in an hourly basis, which is often monotonic and repetitive. In addition, blue – collar workers have no control over setting the pace of their own work.
As a response to these characteristics of blue-collar occupations, workers developed a set of informal work practices at the workplace. Informal work practices can be divided into main three groups, which are “games,” “times” and “themes,” and “deals.” The first work practice, “games,” can be defined as a case when workers perceive their jobs as a series of games in order to avoid monotony of their work (Vallas, Finlay and Wharton 2009: 110). Burawoy argues (1979: 81) that the “game of making out” in an engine company was developed in response to the monotony and repetitive nature of their work, and, hence, workers exercised control over their work. The making out can be understood as an output production over 100 percent but no more than 140 percent level (ibid., 57-58). The output restriction in range of 100 to 140 percent guaranteed additional payments to workers as firm’s

Related Documents