Define socialism and describe its major characteristics.
Socialism is an economic system characterized by public ownership of the means of production, the pursuit of collective goals, and centralized decision making.1)Public ownership of means of production - In a truly socialist economy, the means of production are owned and controlled by a collectivity or the state, not by private individuals or corporations. (could not respond to the needs of the market place quality was poor)2)Pursuit of collective goals rather than personal profits3)Centralized Decision Making - In theory, economic decisions are based on the needs of society; the government is responsible for aiding the production and distribution of goods and services.
Trace the major historical changes that have occurred in economic systems and note the most prevalent form of production found in each.
Preindustrial Economies (hunting and gathering, horticultural and pastoral, and agrarian societies) - Primary sector production - economy - family (become separate)Industrial economies - Secondary sector production (take the raw produce finished goods - cars, computers) - mass production - increase surplus - increase economic inequality (1) new forms of energy, mechanization, and growth of the factories (2) increased division of labor and increased specialization (3) universal application of scientific method - Taylorism and Fordism (4) Introduction of wage labor, time discipline, and deferred gratification (5) Bureaucratic organizational structurePostindustrial Economies - tertiary sector production (provision of services, not goods)
Define contingent work and identify the role subcontracting often plays in contingent work.
Contingent work is part-time work, temporary work, or subcontracted work that offers advantages to employers but may be detrimental to workers. Through the use of contingent workers, employers are able to cut costs and maximize profits, but workers have little or no job security.
Describe the four distinctive features of "ideal" capitalism and explain why pure capitalism does not exist.
1)Private ownership of the means of production - right of individuals to own income producing properties - private ownership is in the hands of a few corporations run by a small group of shareholders2)Pursuit of personal profit. People are free to maximize their personal profit - a few benefit3)Competition - in theory competition acts as a balance to excessive profits. When companies compete quality goods/services at a competitive price - trend =less and less competition - oligopoly - shared monopoly - conglomerates - interlocking coporate directories4)No government intervention - government intervention - regulations and laws that curb business excessesMost of us think of ourselves as ?owners? of private property because we own a car, a television, or other possessions. However, most of us are not capitalists; we spend money on the things we own rather than make money from them. Only a relatively few people own income-producing property from which a profit can be realized by producing and distributing goods and services. Everyone else is a consumer.
Describe the purpose of the economy and distinguish between sociological perspectives on the economy and the study of economics.
The economy is the social institution that ensures the maintenance of society through the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.According to functionalists, the economy is a vital social institution because it is the means by which needed goods and services are produced and distributed. Conflict theorists suggest that the capitalist economy is based on greed. In order to maximize profits, capitalists suppress the wages of workers, who, in turn, cannot purchase products, making it necessary for capitalists to reduce production, close factories, lay off workers, and adopt other remedies that are detrimental to workers and society. Symbolic interactionists focus on the microlevel of the economic system, particularly on the social organization of work and its effects on workers? attitudes and behavior. Many workers experience job satisfaction when they like their job responsibilities and the organizational structure in which they work and when their individual needs and values are met. Alienation occurs when workers do not gain a sense of self-identity from their jobs and their work is done completely for material gain and not for personal satisfaction.
Compare and contrast capitalism, socialism, and mixed economies.
Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of production, from which personal profits can be derived through market competition and without government intervention.Socialism is an economic system characterized by public ownership of the means of production, the pursuit of collective goals, and centralized decision making.Mixed Economy is an economic system that combines elements of a market economy (capitalism) with elements of a command economy (socialism). - private and pursuit of personal profit. These mixed economies are often referred to as democratic socialism.
Distinguish between the primary and secondary labor markets and describe the types of jobs found in each.
Primary labor market is the sector of the labor market that consists of high-paying jobs with good benefits that have some degree of security and the possibility of future advancement. Education = post HS, college, Tech, Advance Training. Teacher, nursing, doctors, electrician (professionals).Secondary Labor Market is the sector of the labor market that consists of low-paying jobs with few benefits and very little job security or possibility of future advancement. Identify the occupational categories considered to be marginal jobs and explain why they are considered to be marginal.Marginal jobs differ in some manner form mainstream employment norms: Jobs should be legal, be covered by government regulations, be relatively permanent, and provide adequate hours and pay in order to make a living. Marginal jobs fall below some or all of these norms. Examples in the US labor market include personal service workers and private household workers.
Describe some of the means by which workers resist working conditions they consider to be oppressive.
Absenteeism, sabotage, and resistanceLabor unions
Distinguish between the various types of unemployment.
1)Cyclical unemployment occurs as a result of lower rates of production during recessions in the business cycle; although massive layoffs initially occur, some of the workers will eventually be rehired, largely depending on the length and severity of the recession. (relatively temporary in nature)2)Seasonal unemployment results from shifts in the demand for workers based on conditions such as the weather or the season. (relatively temporary in nature)3)Structural unemployment arises because the skills demanded by employers do not match the skills of the unemployed or because the unemployed do not live where jobs are located.
Describe job satisfaction and alienation, and explain the impact of each on workers.
(Symbolic Interactionist) Job satisfaction refers to people?s attitudes toward their work, based on their job responsibilities, the organizational structure in which they work, and their individual needs and values.Alienation occurs when workers do not gain a sense of self-identity from their jobs and their work is done completely for material gain and not for personal satisfaction.
Trace the historical development of labor unions.
Us labor unions came into being in the mid-nineteenth century. Have been credited with gaining an eight-hour workday, a five-day workweek, health and retirement benefits, sick leave and unemployment insurance, and workplace health and safety standards for many employees. Most gained through collective e bargaining ? negotiations between employers and labor union leaders on behalf of workers.
Compare scientific management (Taylorism) with mass production through automation (Fordism), noting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Taylorism is modern, scientific management, which is bedrock of both corporate workplace control and big business man??????Fordism is an academic concept that credits Henry Ford with inventing the assembly line and supposedly trying to over pay his workers. Henry Ford did not invent the assembly line. Though he paid comparatively high wages, he worked his employees so hard that he actually made greatly increased profits for himself. Fordism is thus a vacuous and misleading concept.
Explain why the unemployment rate may not be a true reflection of unemployment in the United States.
Like other types of "official" statistics, unemployment rates may be misleading. Do not include people who are working part time because full-time work is unavailable or people who are "discouraged" workers (are not seeking jobs).
The social institution that ensures the maintenance of society through the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Primary Sector Production
The sector of the economy that extracts raw materials and natural resources from the environment.
Secondary Sector Production
The sector of the economy that processes raw materials (from the primary sector) into finished goods.
Tertiary Sector Production
The sector of the economy that is involved in the provision of services rather than goods.
An economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of production, from which personal profits can be derived through market competition and without government intervention.
A group of employees who join together to bargain with an employer or a group of employers over wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Large-scale organizations that have legal powers, such as the ability to enter in to contracts and buy and sell property, separate form their individual owners.
Large corporations that are headquartered in one country but sell and produce goods and services in many countries.
A condition existing when several companies overwhelmingly control an entire industry.
A condition that exists when four or fewer companies supply 50 percent or more of a particular market.
A combination of businesses in different commercial areas, all of which are owned by one holding company.
Interlocking Corporate Directorates
Members of the board of directors of one corporation who also sit on the board(s) of other companies.
An economic system characterized by public ownership of the means of production, the pursuit of collective goals, and centralized decision making.
An economic system that combines elements of a market economy (capitalism) with elements of a command economy (socialism).
An economic and political system that combines private ownership of some of the means of production, governmental distribution of some essential goods and services, and free elections.
Categories of jobs that involve similar activities at different work sites.
Primary Labor Market
The sector of the labor market that consists of high-paying jobs with good benefits that have some degree of security and the possibility of future advancement.
Secondary Labor Market
The sector of the labor market that consists of low-paying jobs with few benefits and very little job security or possibility of future advancement.
High-status, knowledge-based occupations.
Jobs that differ from the employment norms of the society in which they are located.
Part-time work, temporary work, or subcontracted work that offers advantages to employers but that can be detrimental to the welfare of workers.
An agreement in which a corporation contracts with other (usually smaller) firms to provide specialized components, products, or services to the larger corporation.
The percentage of unemployed persons in the labor force actively seeking jobs.