Mobility and Change in Modern Society by Geoff Payne (auth.)

By Geoff Payne (auth.)

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If we are to believe Goldthorpe, Marx did appreciate the importance of mobility, despite writing almost nothing about it in the whole of his prolific output. Two consequences follow from this position. First, Goldthorpe has established that mobility can be analysed from any ideological standpoint, not just from that of the apologist for capitalism. Second, he has established a hallowed, symbolic pedigree for the study of social mobility: if Marx hirnself sanctified it, we may all safely follow in his footsteps.

The master/journeyman/apprentice paternalism was thus replaced by a simpler cash relations hip, but one in which the outworkers retained some control over production. Recent writers have seen this as a central issue in the introduction of the factory system. While factory production does allow the introduction of large-scale, inanimate sources of power (such as the water mill or steam engine) its attraction lies in overcoming what, from the merchant's point of view, were three defects of home-based work, namely: the lack of control by the merchant-capitalist over his workers; the economic losses through waste and fraud; and the uncertain nature of the labour force.

Feudal, guild, and out-work labour are replaced by a system in which social mobility, at least within a single broad class, and subject to market constraints, is possible. 1 The underlying impersonality ofthe relationship between capital and labour is also further determined by the form of the business enterprise in modern capitalism. g. Burnham. 1945) through the persons of managers and the legal entitlements of 'money capital', that is shares and bonds, etc. By means of one company controlling another, in increasing chains, the distance between the capitalist and the actual productive activity was extended.

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