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Author: Ammar Abulibdeh

The propagation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had resulted in a significant slowdown of economic activities worldwide. Teleworking practices and policies could play a significant and essential role of any business continuity plan in time of risk that prohibits employees from performing their working tasks at their regular workplace or offices. Hence, telework gives those employees the opportunity to perform their work tasks remotely and keep the organization operational. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on promoting telework practices. This study discusses the transition to telework during the COVID- 19 pandemic and the continuity of teleworking practices after the pandemic. Furthermore, the study discusses what elements and interventions that are necessary to maximize the potential gains for more widespread telework for employers and employees. Adopting telework in this circumstance can reduce the negative impact of the pandemic and be a mitigating measure for the economy and inequality. This research is important because it analyses the benefits of implementing telework practices in a time of risk.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19-driven pandemic has ravaged the economy of the world in the form of toll on health and loss of employment. The unprecedented devastation has left the economies in a nose-diven state, with job losses for paid employees and self-employed and labor market disruption in the nature of reduced earnings and working hours, compounded through prolonged closure of different ongoing projects, which restricted mobility, reduced manpower in order to contain the deadly pandemic. Witnesses of layoffs, retrenchment, pay cuts, delayed promotions with increments are quite apparent adverse outcomes of the crisis. According to a survey by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the rate of unemployment has been amplified to 24% in mid-May 2020. The monstrous pandemic has wreaked havoc on the job landscape of the nation resulting in economic contraction and shrinking job opportunities wrapped with a sense of fear and uncertainty is palpable among professionals. The present study is an endeavor to quantify the actual impact of COVID- 19 pandemic on the private sector employees of West Bengal, India. With sample respondents of 681, the study reveals that a significant segment of employees are severely challenged by the life-threatening virus especially the employees absorbed in private commercial establishments or factories where the sector of employment, nature of industry, or job profile denies the concept of “work from home.” The global outbreak has changed the job market almost overnight and seems to have long-lasting, game-changing ramifications with a number of sectors experiencing massive hit where jobs will be savagely cut.

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Author: Joseph Ball

The introduction of the market system in the COMECON countries of Europe after the end of communist rule is examined for the USSR and five Eastern European countries. The market system only led to improvements in economic performance relative to Western Europe in two out of six countries compared in 1988 and 2016. New figures from the Maddison Project Database are used to illustrate this. Quality of output problems in COMECON countries has probably been exaggerated. Evidence undermines claims that socialism leads to high investment for a low return in terms of economic growth. Investment may have been lower than official figures indicate. Economic growth may have been higher. Socialist countries that want higher growth than capitalist countries should invest more. Socialist societies can be established without necessarily sacrificing economic performance.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

Eric Williams was an academic intellectual who authored the well-regarded book Capitalism and Slavery, a public intellectual who left the academy to make his knowledge available to a wider audience or public in Trinidad and Tobago where he was born and, eventually, a social movement intellectual who led his country to political independence from Britain in 1962. This study focuses on Williams's efforts as a public intellectual to construct a public and space for his anticolonial renderings which became part of the public sphere.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

This study is among the first to explore the relationship between unionization and firms' productivity, defined as sales per employee, and profitability per employee in India. The Indian context is important given the structural changes in Indian economy post-1991 (liberalization and movement from dirigisme to an open economy), the unique sociocultural context of Indian unions and growth and size of economy. The final dataset of the study consisted of 91 largest firms listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in India. The data were collected from audited annual reports and analyzed using a modified Cobb–Douglas function. It was found that the degree of unionization, which is percentage of employees who were member of a trade union, had an overall positive impact on the firms' productivity. Contrary to the dominant view of private sector firms being more productive, we found empirical evidence for the effect of unionization on productivity being greater for public sector firms.

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Author: John McCollum

In this interview and case study, we examine the Bakken oil shale boom's effect on union density in western North Dakota to test if high labor demands assist unions in expanding their membership and winning concessions. Using a key informant approach, we find that unions took advantage of the high demand for labor, but this growth encountered important barriers, including a lack of an activist approach, the organization of work, and a political climate in which labor's interests are perceived to oppose the demands of the environmental movement, that need to be surmounted before booming labor demands can turn into gains for labor.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

This study examines the role of the far right in the Euromaidan in Ukraine, primarily in the Maidan massacre and other key cases of violence. The involvement of farright organizations in these crucial events in the Ukrainian and world politics has been politicized and polarized in Ukraine, the West, and Russia. This study analyzes various data sources, such as online live streams and TV broadcasts, videos, broadcasts of the Maidan massacre trials, the database of court decisions in Ukraine, media reports, and field research on the Maidan. The findings reveal that radical nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations had significant but minority representation among the Maidan leadership and protesters. However, the analysis shows that the far-right organizations and football ultras played a key role in political violence such as attempting to seize the presidential administration and the parliament. It reveals involvement of the Right Sector in violent clashes with the Berkut special police force during the highly publicized dispersal of Maidan protesters on November 30, 2013. The Right Sector and Svoboda had crucial roles in the violent overthrow of the Yanukovych government, in particular, in the Maidan massacre of the protesters and the police.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

This essay provides a class-analysis interpretation of France's role in World War II. Determined to eliminate the perceived revolutionary threat emanating from its restless working class, France's elite arranged in 1940 for the country to be defeated by its “external enemy,” Nazi Germany. The fruit of that betrayal was a victory over its “internal enemy,” the working class. It permitted installing a fascist regime under Pétain, and this “Vichy-France”—like Nazi Germany—was a paradise for the industrialists and all other members of the upper class, but a hell for workers and other plebeians. Unsurprisingly, the Resistance was mostly working-class, and its plans for postwar France included severe punishment for the collaborators and very radical reforms. After Stalingrad, the elite, desperate to avoid that fate, switched its loyalty to the country's future American masters, who were determined to make France and the rest of Europe free for capitalism. It proved necessary, however, to allow the recalcitrant leader of the conservative Resistance, Charles de Gaulle, to come to power. In any event, the “Gaullist” compromise made it possible for the French upper class to escape punishment for its pro-Nazi sins and to maintain its power and privileges after the liberation.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

This article examines gender stereotypes in Nigerian movies, which serves as a representation of the African womanhood. Drawing on a feminist critic perspective, the study analyzes how African womanhood and men are portrayed in Nollywood films, and also identifies the most commonly employed gender-stereotypical portrayals in these films. The theoretical framework of the study draws from feminist film theory. Findings in the study reveal that gender-stereotypical representation is highly persistent in Nollywood films, where women are often portrayed in roles that depict them as sex objects, weak, and often dependent on men. Men, on the other hand, are often depicted to be independent, successful, and breadwinners. Women are often portrayed in domesticated and traditional roles, while the men in these films take up professional and leadership roles. Analysis in the study shows that, most commonly employed female stereotypes include femme fatale, career woman, trophy wives, primary caregivers (i.e., wives, mothers), dependent, lazy, and secondary to men. This study offers the pros and cons of the representation of African womanhood through these Nigerian films and the need to address the rising potential anticultural stereotypes.

In: Journal of Labor and Society