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Bravely J. Silver's Forces of Labour

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There are several sociological theories in the study of contemporary labor unrest. However, this essay will start off to examine the rationale of capital mobility and labor transformation processes, as a coherent point of departure. To what extent is this approach significant? A simple answer is the sociological framework of Silver (2003), which is our central focus, is in contrast with the above approaches. Therefore, it’s imperative to provide an overview of what Silver was critical about. Silver conceived that the above approaches and numerous other literatures about labor unrest and globalization comprise severe methodological ramifications. Contrary to these she states that a coherent methodology should be able to situate ways in which workers from various geographical settings are connected to each other, by the paradigms of global division of labour and world political processes (Silver 2003:26). On a radical approach, however, Silver has not only shown optimism to the formation of new working class, but equally conceived an inevitable repercussion from those working classes being deconstructed. Therefore, she argues that Marx-type and Polanyi-type labor struggles is crucial in providing a comprehensive global sociological inquiry of future labor movements and unrest (Silver 2003:19-20). As already mentioned above, the first section of this paper will provide a critical summary of theories, which uses capital mobility and, the transformation of labor and global capital processes, as plausible explanation to the inquiry of existing labor unrest. The principal argument of this approach is summed under the hypothesis of the “race to bottom,” i.e., global productive capital has diametrically shaped conditions by which worker ar...

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...a crucial stage in the flow of production (2003:6). This is by no means the only strategy that guarantees workers with bargaining power. Another strategic method is connected with transport and communications industries, which Silver calls a “globalized network of production” (2003:6). Based on these divergences to the ‘race to bottom’ thesis, the question now is what does Silver perceived to be plausible sociological approach to the contemporary study of labor unrest? The answer to this question is directly linked the focus of this essay, which we shall now turn to explore in details.

Works Cited

Barma H. Naazneen and Vogel K. Steven (2008), The Political Economy Reader: Markets As Institutions (Rutledge: Taylor and Francis Group).

Silver, J. Bravely (2003), Forces of Labour: Workers Movements and Globalization Since 1870 (Cambridge: University Press).
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