ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fresh Perspective on Industrial Workers

N R Sheth South Indian Factory Workers: Their Life and Their World by Mark Holmstrom; Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1978; pp xii + 158, Rs 25. SOCIOLOGICAL studies of Indian industrial workers have varied from impressionistic generalisations to sophisticated intensive and extensive researches in various aspects of the subject. Scholars interested in urban- industrial India have dwelt at some length on issues .such as the social consequences of industrialisation and workers' commitment to industrial jobs and the industrial way of life in the context of thir perceived attachment to traditional institutions such as extended family, caste, religion and a value system believed to be oriented to the rural agricultural ethos of Indian society. For some time it was fashionable to argue that there was an inevitable incompatibility between modern technology and traditional Indian institutions and values. As empirical studies of industrial workers in urban centres grew, it was first realised and then shown by data that loyalty to traditional institutions did not seriously hamper workers' acceptance of industrial jobs and the value system implied in them. An academic debate on the so-called problem of commitment of Indian workers has been going on for over two decades. Commitment is usually measured by scholars in terms of the Concepts of work adjustment, job satisfaction, motivation, attitudes, etc, formulated in relation to industrial workers in more developed societies. It is generally assumed that modern technology and the logic of industrialism are the phenomena of the future making demands on tradition- bound workers. Workers themselves are usually regarded as passive agents, accepting, rejecting or partially accepting the norms of religion, caste, family, urban society, modern technology and such other institutions. A worker is rarely seen as an active part, ner in the social reality around him. living through unique situations from time to time, and operating on his social and industrial environment by choices of his own.

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