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new structuralism

new structuralism, new structuralists The label given in the United States to researchers who, from about 1980 onwards, examined how processes of occupational attainment were influenced by structural constraints such as those imposed by segmented labour markets, occupational segregation, and the operation of the dual economy. This literature covers the same terrain as the status-attainment programme, but from an explicitly critical standpoint, since it emphasizes the ways in which certain features of economic systems and formal organizations enhance or constrain the distribution of opportunities for particular categories of people. For example, from this point of view, the over-representation of some ethnic minorities in poor (badly paid, unskilled, insecure) jobs is viewed as a consequence of processes involving discrimination—rather than as a consequence of the failure, on the part of the victims, to invest in the human capital necessary for occupational success. One of the hallmark articles is James N. Baron and and William T. Bielby 's ‘Bringing the Firms Back In: Stratification, Segmentation, and the Organization of Work’ (American Sociological Review, 1980)
, but the boundaries of the movement are difficult to draw precisely, since they are often stretched to include (for example) the neo-Marxist theory of contradictory class locations formulated by Erik Olin Wright.

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