This chapter describes the change as driven by a complex combination of technical, economic and regulatory circumstances. It focuses unambiguously on an example of non-linearity in the form of a reversal of the self-servicing trend, discussing, admittedly in somewhat economics-driven terms, and certainly somewhat prematurely, the influence of the internet. The chapter expresses that this would lead to a range of new formal economy jobs, ranging from the obvious software engineering, to the then less-obvious category of new paid employment substituting for unpaid informal economy work. For example the paid home delivery jobs substituting for shoppers' trips to supermarkets, which would result from a growth in computer-based home shopping. The chapter also expresses Ray's conclusion that 'households still need substantial amounts of money in order to engage in self-service activity'. It mentions the longer-term influence of Ray's work on research into households and work in British social science.
By the early 1970s the issue of gender and work had already attracted R. E. Pahl's attention in his and Jan Pahl's 1971 book Managers and their Wives in which the tensions around wives' opportunities for careers were noted. At the same time, Pahl was aware of significant changes occurring in both the housing and labour markets. W. G. Runciman's reflections on the variety of things done by sociologists also support the case for treating Pahl as the author of a modern sociological classic, because of the range of its ambition. This chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book conveys something of what it was like working with a colleague who was by turns engaging, enthusiastic, questioning, respectful, unconstrained by the niceties of academic convention, and always on the move in search of answers to an ever-shifting agenda.
This chapter explores two of the book's key themes: the 'polarization of workers' lives', and the ways in which couples share the domestic division of labour over the life course. Ray Pahl pairs the story of Linda and Jim with a much shorter case study of Beryl and George, a couple untouched by unemployment and living a life of 'modest affluence'. George and Beryl are used as a device to highlight the arbitrariness of Linda and Jim's fate. Linda and Jim's plight in 1992 underscored many of the central aspects of Pahl's analysis in Divisions of Labour the polarisation of society into work-rich and work-poor households, the disincentives to work embedded in the welfare system, and above all, the arbitrariness of economic success and failure in the context of rapid deindustrialisation and the liberalisation of labour markets.
This chapter explores a way in which Divisions of Labour is a neglected classic, and this is in terms of its attention to the issue of deindustrialisation. Ray Pahl's Sheppey was in many ways an exemplar of deindustrialisation in the UK as it contained within its boundaries many of the complex elements of deindustrialisation, indeed he did describe Sheppey as a 'post-industrial laboratory'. The chapter also explores how Divisions of Labour can throw new light on to debates about both deindustrialisation and the sociology of work in our own time. Deindustrialization ultimately affects family life, the ways in which people age, the extent to which their communities remain intact or fall victim to outmigration, and the very nature of the urban dweller's worldview. The chapter expresses that Pahl makes the distinction between unemployment and deindustrialisation, a more obvious point now, but not quite so clear cut in the early 1980s.
This book is a reflection on the making of a modern sociological classic text and its enduring influence on the discipline. It is about another book, Ray Pahl's Divisions of Labour, which presents the craft of conceiving, planning, undertaking and presenting research. Excerpts from the original are interspersed with contributions from leading researchers and its effects in the ensuing three decades in the book. In addition to the excerpts, it presents the author's research on the Isle of Sheppey, the 'Sheppey project', which expanded into a more systematic study when Pahl won a Social Science Research Council grant. Pahl's Sheppey was in many ways an exemplar of deindustrialisation in the UK as it contained within its boundaries many of the complex elements of deindustrialisation, indeed he did describe Sheppey as a 'post-industrial laboratory'. The Durkheimian, Marxist, and Weberian theories were sketched out by ordinary people trying to make sense of the context in which they live; they are all founded to some degree on fact. One of the key concepts developed in Divisions of Labour is that of the 'household work strategy' and it was demonstrated through the evolution of women's work. The 'polarization of workers' lives', and the ways in which couples share the domestic division of labour over the life course is discussed. The ideas contained in Divisions of Labour have been engaged with by scholars not only in sociology but in anthropology, development studies, economics, geography, political science, psychology, social history, social, policy and beyond.
This chapter discusses Ray Pahl's approach to doing sociology, something about which he is explicit in his comments on the sociologist's tools and tasks, and something which is felt between the lines of his work. It explores the ways in which place is a site of affective attachment, produced through the rhythms and routines of everyday life, with particular reference to the atmosphere of the 'bike rush' of dockyard workers as recalled in oral history interviews. The chapter focuses on young people's imagined futures to explore time, space and the operation of class. Pahl spent the best part of a decade on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, as a setting for his investigations into the different configurations of 'forms' and 'sources' of labour used by the household to get work done, and the divisions of labour within the household to settle the allocation of tasks.
This chapter argues that the concept of social structure, in all its varieties, is too vague to be useful. It does not correspond to the observable individual and collective realities of the human world; and it is too tainted with determinism to accommodate a view of human beings as reasoning agents. A concept that is as vague as social structure is unlikely to correspond to the observable realities of the human world. The 'structuration' debate, the conversation between social theorists about the relationship between 'structure' and 'action' shows no sign of resolution, although war weariness may have set in. This chapter argues that with no claim to novelty, that this debate and its predecessors have been inconclusive because of a fundamental misconception. The notion of social structure has dispatched many social theorists on wild goose chases from which they could never return with anything useful.
This chapter presents the fatwa or 'response by a qualified Muslim Scholar' against the killing of civilians written by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shafii School. Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti's Defending the transgressed by censuring the reckless against the killing of Civilians offer some guidance on the issue of targeting civilians and civilian centres by suicide bombing. The chapter also provides an alphabetical glossary of Arabic terms. In a Muslim state, decisions on questions relating to ceasefire, peace settlement and the judgment of prisoners of war can be taken by the executive or political authority or by a subordinate authority appointed by the former authority. The result in Islamic jurisprudence is: if a Muslim carries out an attack voluntarily, he becomes a murderer and not a martyr or a hero and he will be punished for it in the Next World.
The function of the narratives of Ancient Greece is to give a meaningful structure to the world in which we live, act and feel. Amnesty has rightly described the 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. More than any other story in the world today, the Israeli narrative is under challenge. The Israeli and American narratives already shared a quality of youthfulness, an idea of a homeland haven, a democracy, a land of opportunity and individual rights, a laboratory and launch pad for self-invention. Narrative strategies include attempts to change the interpretation of the law, to introduce new laws and generally to adopt practices that have such far-reaching effects that they in essence alter the nature of the state.