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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!, 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This book explains, in a very accessible way, the constant efforts made this century to reduce the control workers have over their work, and to remove as much as possible the need for workers to exercise judgement and skill. It challenges the popular view that capitalism requires an increasingly skilled workforce, and demolishes the categories (such as 'white-collar' and 'semi-skilled') on which such an analysis is based. The sections on Taylorism, and the various time and motion schemes applied to factory and office work, would just be hilarious (do you know how long it takes to grasp something with two fingers as opposed to three?) if only these theories had not condemned millions to stupifying boredom. I was a bit dubious about how up to date this book would be, given that it was written in 1974. However many of the processes Braverman discusses are still making their way through office work, service industries etc. and the insights seem fresh and relevant even a quarter of a century after they were committed to paper.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece on the alienation of labour, 9 Mar 2012
By 
P. Webster "Phil W." (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Braverman's book is subtitled "The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century", but it is still very relevant in the twenty-first. It shows the effects of the development of capitalism on the nature of work (the labour process) and on the composition of the working class since Marx's time.

Braverman shows how several factors combine to make the labour process an alienating one under capitalism: capitalist management and control; the way the capitalists use new technology; the division of labour; and the separation of the "conception" or planning side of work from its "execution". Underlying all these, of course, is the lack of control by workers over the means of production.

He shows how the capitalists try to deskill as far as possible every new type of skilled job that is thrown up by their ever-changing system, so that they can both reduce wage levels and also more easily control the alienated labour of the workers.

Finally, Braverman was also one of the first Marxists to show in detail how white collar workers have become part of the working class, and how even many "professional" jobs are being proletarianised.

Phil Webster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone trying to understand the motions within capitalism and the stratuses with the working class., 29 April 2013
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For anyone trying to understand the motions within capitalism and the stratuses with the working class.A great and intuitive read!!
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