Industrial Revolution Heralded a Shift in the Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Industrial Revolution heralded a shift in the way that goods were produced. Technological developments in particular began a shift in emphasis away from human capital towards financial capital. Human beings, once almost exclusively in one trade or another, became increasingly viewed as equivalent to machines, or worse. This marked a shift both in business and society with respect to the nature of work in society, a shift whose repercussions are still felt today. The Introduction section will highlight the background information -- defining the Industrial Revolution, the ways work was viewed in society prior to it and how work is viewed in society today, which will provide perspective of some of the critical changes that have occurred.

In his essay Why We Work, Andrew Curry outlines some of the more profound of these changes. These changes will form the basis of my research paper on how the Industrial Revolution affected the nature of work in society. Each change will be discussed in turn, tracing its evolution from concepts that emerged during the Industrial Revolution to modern day life. This will be the Discussion section, and it will form the bulk of the paper.

First, the structure of work itself will be discussed. Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford reframed the worker-work relationship on strictly economic terms. Taylor saw the worker as only useful for
...Psychologically, this shift had a profound impact on the role of work in society. Where once work and one's role were closely paired, work was now a money-making activity decoupled from one's identity. That so many persist with the work-as-identity paradigm is also worth of study, as this is a holdover from the pre-Industrial Revolution era, and complicates our relationship with work. Some of these long-lingering externalities take a negative toll on society (Crowley et al., 2010).

Second will be a discussion of how the changing nature of work has shifted our perceptions of time. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, work was done slowly and manually, and only enough was done to sustain one's livelihood. The Industrial Revolution heralded a shift away from this slow time orientation (Ferrante, 2005 ). Wage-earners may have sold their time to factory owners, but management could not. The Industrial Revolution thereby set in motion a shift towards work as consuming one's time, but not in the same way it did the artisan. Where the artisan controlled his or her workload, the Industrial Revolution increased the pace of production dramatically. This increase made it difficult for humans to keep pace -- the notion of the manager always being on the job was born. The research paper will show that the way today's communications technology drives people to work constantly is a reflection of the shifts in time orientation towards work that began in the Industrial Revolution.

The third area of focus will be with respect to the relationship that we have with work. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the idea of the work ethic. Before, grueling work was sometimes necessary for survival, but…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Curry, A. (2003). Why we work. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 9, 2010 from

Crowley, M., Trope, D., Chamberlain, L. & Hudson, R. (2010). Neo-Taylorism at work: Occupational change in the post-Fordist era. Social problems. Vol. 57 (3) 421-447.

eNotes. (2010). Industrial Revolution. eNotes. Retrieved November 9, 2010 from

Ferrante, J. (2005). Sociology: A global perspective. Cengage.

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