e-book Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar: Stories of Work

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Important groups within the white-collar population, especially clerical workers and sales personnel, have been overtaken by skilled manual workers in terms of income, job security, even prestige. Occupational prestige had similarities to capitalist societies, with white-collar jobs enjoying greater status than blue-collar ones Babushkina and Shubkin, But, even lower-status work, such as metallurgy and carpentry, that had previously revolved around various jobs formalized into elaborate professions that granted credentials, advancement, and seniority to persons.

The privileges associated with certain kinds of white-collar occupations also persisted. So, for example, doctors', teachers', and journalists' children continued to have access to better education, health care, and services through their social networks and socialization. Persons with these backgrounds translated their social and cultural capital into better opportunities for their careers and, ultimately, occupational status in Soviet society.

Another important factor in Soviet stratification — especially at the top of the hierarchy — was power. The centralization of control in Soviet society gave the nomenklatura considerable privileges as well. The nomenklatura and their families had access to higher quality products and services than the rest of society. The separation of the Soviet ruling class from the masses was present from the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution, but became more conspicuous over time.

Ordinary Soviet citizens tried to attach themselves to members of the nomenklatura in patron—client chains to improve their situation. By the Brezhnev era, Soviet society was riven by clientelistic relations that fragmented the stratification system into personal tyrannies of elites and their followers Voslensky, ; Rigby and Harasymiw, The integration of the recent mass migration wave from the FSU is considered a success story: most of the immigrants of working age entered the labor market rather quickly. This waste might have affected the relatively high emigration rate of FSU immigrants and suggests that more emphasis should have been placed on the occupational integration of the migrants, mainly the older ones.

Yet some indicators on the very young FSU immigrants who came as young children show that they resemble native Israelis both in their occupational distribution and in their wage levels Cohen Goldner et al. Hopefully, their re-emigration rates would be lower.

Bringing the News: An Interview with Richard Ford

World core Jewry is now concentrated in developed countries see footnote 3. While the number of Jews in the US exceeds the number of Jews elsewhere by millions, the diversity of American Jewry along with their high rate of assimilation suggest that immigration from the US to Israel will not play a more dominant role than it used to. Immigration from France has grown in the last few years and is expected to be the most significant in the near future. The most dominant push factor for French Jewry today is related to rising anti-Semitism.

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In addition, French Jews often consider themselves as Zionists. In a recent survey, many of the French immigrants stated the decision to leave France and the decision to come to Israel were interrelated.


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Yet the French immigrants confirmed they face language and cultural difficulties and also difficulties in finding appropriate employment. Given these difficulties, one of the suggestions that was raised to enhance future immigration from France is to open Hebrew classes and workshops for the potential immigrants in France and to connect potential immigrants and Israeli employers before the immigrants arrive. The Israeli government and the Jewish agency should recognize these needs and act accordingly if they want to encourage French Jews to make Aliyah.

Giorgio Topa, in Handbook of Social Economics , This finding is consistent with various theoretical models. Lower education and lower socio-economic status are associated with a higher probability of job loss see Elsby et al. Other stories could be related to differential adverse selection and signaling problems across education levels or occupations, as in Pellizzari Ornstein , Corcoran et al.

Elliot finds that informal contacts are more frequently used in high-poverty neighborhoods than in low-poverty ones. Similarly, Green et al. Rees and Schultz and Corcoran et al. With regard to gender differences, some — mixed — evidence suggests that women are less likely to use informal contacts than men with regard to both information about vacancies and direct influence.

By Denis Johnson

Studies that report findings in this direction include Bradshaw , Corcoran et al. Other studies however, such as Marsden and Campbell , Moore or Morrison and von Glinow find that women use informal networks and find jobs through informal methods as often as men; all the same, as I discuss later, similar network usage yields larger returns in terms of salary and promotions for men.

Campbell also finds that men have wider occupational range in their networks than women, i. There is also evidence of racial and ethnic differences in usage of informal contacts in job search. Early studies indicate higher usage by Blacks than by Whites: see, for instance, Corcoran et al. Falcon and Melendez and Green et al. In addition, Datcher reports slightly higher usage of informal contacts by Hispanics than by Whites or Blacks. However, as I mention below, there is also some evidence that informal channels are less productive for Blacks than for Whites: Holzer b analyzes a sample from the —82 NLSY, and finds that the probability of using personal networks does not differ significantly between Whites and Blacks, but the probability of receiving an offer conditional on usage is consistently higher for Whites than for Blacks, across all methods; the racial difference is especially high for informal search methods.

Finally, with regard to age, some studies find that younger and less experienced workers are more likely to use informal search methods. These include Corcoran et al. And, of course, doing the book allowed me to renew my long-standing affiliation with the state, which has meant so much to me in my life and given me so much. To me, these are gifts of literature which have rather enduring appeal. To read the rest of this interview, please click here. Help support michigan and buy a copy here. Suspend Your Disbelief. Not uniformly.

I grew up in Mississippi and Arkansas, and arrived at the idea of writing a novel crippled with the unquestioned assumption that I was supposed to write either about those places, or about people who lived there. Or else I was supposed to set my novel there, which I did. Or that I was supposed to write for a southern audience. Anyway, I did it. Another way of thinking about this is that I wrote about suburban New Jersey and set the Bascombe books there because—at the beginning—I was living there and it seemed available and rather un-worked-over by other writers.


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I also set two novellas in Paris because I loved Paris and thought that Americans writers were free to set stories there. I would only say, however, that once I left off writing stories set in the South, I never felt that the places where I set my novels were at all genitive.

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The places as they contributed language to the stories, and settings, were always in my mind subordinate to what the characters were doing. It is important. But its importance is subtle and probably less pronounced and maybe less weighty than one might imagine. Can you talk about some of the books and writers who continue to serve as touchstones for you. The writers, books, or stories, you find yourself rereading, revisiting, or simply like to have around as you do your own work. Books come randomly into my life, exert themselves on me, then pass on.

Now I wonder why I wanted to do that. I read her still. Cheever, too. Touchstone books…. These still resonate audibly. You mentioned Eudora Welty. You were friends, yes? I wonder, what is it about her work that continues to resonate with you? What I like, what endures for me, is the rich mixture of humor in all of her work. You leave her stories always shaken. Whereas Eudora is tolerant, her intelligence supple, her sympathies wide and widening, her personal pleasure glee, often at being a source of readerly pleasure so palpable. I sometimes say that growing up in Mississippi one learned that human discourse—conversation, say—was largely about keeping your fellow conversationalist amused.

Spending time with Eudora was always to be amused. Nothing was lost on her. Language was always in play.

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