Stratification and Work in Contemporary Logistics

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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between stratification and work in contemporary logistics from two
theoretical angles. The first involves an analysis of the utility of the model of primary versus secondary
labour markets as a template for assessing the core characteristics of logistics’ work. The second involves
a parallel assessment of the salience of post-modern theories of time for an understanding of how such
work is structured. Logistics involves the movement of goods and information by road, rail, sea and air.
High levels of surveillance and control are embedded within these flows. These are critical for the creation
of value via the supply of commodities to industrial, personal and commercial customers at the exact
time desired by them. This has involved a paradigmatic shift in economic production from the Fordist
system, whereby goods were manufactured in long production runs and then pushed up the supply chain
to retailers, to a post-Fordist system, whereby production is determined directly by consumer demand. The
world of transportation and warehousing has suffered from systematic neglect by sociologists. Part of this
lies in a deep seated Marxist bias within the field whereby factory work is characterized as “productive” and
somehow more significant and authentic, whereas the worlds of transportation and distribution are seen as
“unproductive” and far less important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalTurkish Journal of Sociology
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date30 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • STRATIFICATION, WORK, LOGISTICS, POSTMODERNISM, MARXISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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