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Transformations of Industrial Labour in Western Europe: Intergenerational Change of Life Cycles, Occupation and Mobility 1970–2000

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Lutz Raphael

In: German History 30 (2012), 1, 100-119


The article explores key issues for a social history of Western European working classes during the last three decades of the twentieth century, starting from a comparative examination of the West German and French cases. The scope of deindustrialization and its social consequences (mass unemployment and growing regional disparities) is the first issue; the transformation of work processes in manufacturing and the effects of this on skills, wages and discretion over tasks at the work place is the second issue. The paper discusses in detail the broadening generational divide among the working classes, the problem of organizing collective interests in times of job insecurity, and the general trend towards market regulation. Finally, changing gender relations among working-class families and households and the changes in intergenerational mobility are explored.