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The Effects of Strikes on Workers: A Critical Analysis

Michael R. Smith
The Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie
Vol. 3, No. 4 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 457-472
DOI: 10.2307/3339777
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3339777
Page Count: 16
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The Effects of Strikes on Workers: A Critical Analysis
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Abstract

It has been argued that surveys that turn up relatively contented workers in Britain and North America give a false picture of the stability of these rich capitalist societies since they neglect the potential of "explosions" of consciousness often associated with strikes. The argument developed in this paper is that while there are some elements of truth in the claim that strikes lead to a change in the perception and attitudes of workers, the net effect of strikes on working class consciousness (and presumably on the likelihood of political instability) is by no means necessarily an "advance." /// On a prétendu que les sondages qui révèlent qu'il existe une satisfaction relative des travailleurs en Grande-Bretagne et en Amérique du Nord, donnent une fausse idée de la stabilité de ces sociétés capitalistes, puisqu'ils négligent l'effet potentiel des "explosions" de conscience de classe qui accompagnent souvent les grèves ouvrières. La thèse de cet article est que, bien qu'il y ait une part de vérité dans la supposition que les grèves modifient la perception et les attitudes des travailleurs, l'effet net des grèves sur la conscience ouvrière (et par implication sur la possibilité d'instabilité politique) n'est pas nécessairement un indice de "progrès."

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