Chapter 18. Work and the Economy
Figure 18.1. Today, the tasks of these assembly-line workers are significantly being removed as brand-new technology space introduced. (Photo courtesy of john Lloyd/flickr)

Learning Objectives

18.1. Economic Systems

Understand species of financial systems and also their historical development.Describe capitalism and socialism both in theory and in practice.Discussion how functionalists, vital sociologists, and also symbolic interactionists watch the economy and work.

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18.2. Work-related in Canada

Describe the existing Canadian workforce and also the tendency of polarization.Explain exactly how women and immigrants have impacted the modern-day Canadian workforce.Understand the basic elements of poor in Canada today.

Introduction come Work and also the Economy

Ever because the first people traded one item because that another, there has actually been some type of economic climate in the world. It is how people optimize what they have actually to meet their wants and needs. Economy refers to the social establishments through i beg your pardon a society’s sources (goods and also services) room managed. Goods are the physical objects us find, grow, or do in bespeak to meet our needs and also the needs of others. Goods can meet important needs, such as a location to live, clothing, and also food, or they have the right to be luxuries — those things we carry out not need come live yet want anyway. Goods created for sale on the market are referred to as commodities. In contrast to these objects, services space activities that advantage people. Examples of services incorporate food preparation and delivery, wellness care, education, and entertainment. These services carry out some the the sources that assist to maintain and also improve a society. The food sector helps ensure that all of a society’s members have accessibility to sustenance. Health and wellness care and also education systems treatment for those in need, help foster longevity, and also equip people to come to be productive members of society. Economy is one of human being society’s earliest society structures. Ours earliest creates of creating (such together Sumerian clay tablets) were arisen to document transactions, payments, and debts in between merchants. As cultures grow and also change, so do their economies. The economy of a little farming community is an extremely different from the economic climate of a large nation with progressed technology. In this chapter, we will study different types of economic systems and how they have worked in miscellaneous societies.

18.1 financial Systems

Figure 18.2. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was one of the co-founder of Russian communism. J.P. Morgan was among the most influential capitalists in history. They had an extremely different views on how economic climates should be run. (Photos (a) and also (b) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The dominant economic equipment of the modern era have been capitalism and also socialism, and there have actually been plenty of variations of each system throughout the globe. Nations have switched solution as your rulers and also economic fortunes have actually changed. For example, Russia has actually been transitioning come a market-based economy due to the fact that the loss of communist in that an ar of the world. Vietnam, whereby the economic situation was ruined by the Vietnam War, restructured come a state-run economic situation in response, and an ext recently has actually been moving toward a socialist-style market economy. In the past, other economic systems reflect the societies that created them. Many of these earlier systems it s long centuries. These changes in economic situations raise countless questions because that sociologists. What room these older economic systems? how did they develop? Why did they fade away? What are the similarities and also differences between older financial systems and contemporary ones?

Economics of Agricultural, Industrial, and also Postindustrial Societies

Figure 18.3. In an agricultural economy, plants are the most essential commodity. In a postindustrial society, the many valuable resource is information. (Photo (a) courtesy Wikimedia Commons; picture (b) courtesy AntanaBhadraLamichhane/flickr)

Our earliest ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers. Tiny groups of expanded families roamed from ar to location looking for means to subsist. Castle would clear up in an area for a short time when there were numerous resources. Castle hunted animals for their meat and gathered wild fruits, vegetables, and cereals. They distributed and also ate what they captured or gathered as soon as feasible because they had actually no means of preserving or delivering it. Once the resources of one area ran low, the team had to relocate on, and everything castle owned had to travel through them. Food to make reservation only included what they can carry. Teams did not commonly trade necessary goods with other groups because of scarcity. The use of sources was administrate by the practice of usufruct, the circulation of sources according to need. Bookchin (1982) notes that in hunter-gatherer cultures “property of any type of kind, communal or otherwise, has actually yet to get independence from the claims of satisfaction” (p. 50).

The farming Revolution

The very first true economic climates arrived when human being started increasing crops and domesticating animals. Although over there is tho a great deal that disagreement amongst archeologists as to the specific timeline, research shows that agriculture began independently and at various times in number of places about the world. The earliest agriculture was in the productive Crescent in the middle East around 11,000–10,000 years ago. Next were the valleys of the Indus, Yangtze, and also Yellow Rivers in India and also China, in between 10,000 and also 9,000 years ago. The civilization living in the highlands of new Guinea developed farming between 9,000 and 6,000 years ago, while world were agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa between 5,000 and 4,000 year ago. Agriculture developed later in the western hemisphere, emerging in what would end up being the eastern joined States, main Mexico, and also northern south America between 5,000 and 3,000 years back (Diamond and Bellwood, 2003).

Figure 18.4. Farming practices have emerged in different societies at different times. (Information courtesy that Wikimedia Commons)

Agriculture started with the easiest of technologies — because that example, a pointed pole to rest up the soil — however really took off when world harnessed pets to traction an even much more efficient device for the same task: a plow. Through this new technology, one family might grow enough crops not just to feed themselves but others as well. Knowing there would certainly be numerous food yearly as long as plants were had tendency led human being to abandon the nomadic life of hunter-gatherers and settle down to farm. The improved performance in food production meant that no everyone had actually to toil every day in the fields. As farming grew, new jobs emerged, along with new technologies. Excess plants needed to be stored, processed, protected, and also transported. Farming equipment and irrigation systems necessary to be built and maintained. Wild pets needed to be domesticated and also herds shepherded. Economies begin to develop because people now had actually goods and also services to trade. As more people dedicated in nonfarming jobs, villages grew into towns and also then into cities. Urban locations created the need for administrators and public servants. Disputes over ownership, payments, debts, compensation for damages, and the like resulted in the need for laws and also courts — and also the judges, clerks, lawyers, and also police that administered and also enforced those laws.

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At first, most goods and services to be traded as gifts or with bartering between small social groups (Mauss, 1922). Exchanging one kind of goods or services for one more was known as bartering. This device only works once one human happens to have actually something the other person needs in ~ the very same time. To fix this problem, people occurred the idea that a way of exchange that could be offered at any type of time: the is, money. Money ad to things that a culture agrees to assign a worth to therefore it can be exchanged for payment. In early on economies, money was often objects favor cowry shells, rice, barley, or even rum. Precious metals quickly ended up being the preferred means of exchange in many cultures since of their durability and portability. The an initial coins were minted in Lydia in what is currently Turkey about 650–600 BCE (Goldsborough, 2010). Early on legal codes created the worth of money and the rates of exchange for miscellaneous commodities. They additionally established the rules because that inheritance, fines together penalties because that crimes, and also how home was to be divided and taxed (Horne, 1915). A symbolic interactionist would note that bartering and money space systems the symbolic exchange. Financial objects take it on a symbolic meaning, one that carries right into our modern-day use the cheques and debit cards.