A new book showcases the University’s sociology expertise


Stephen Edgell

A recently-published book, which looks at the sociology of work and employment, boasts a number of varied connections to the University.

The principal editor of The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment is Stephen Edgell, who was appointed lecturer at the University in 1970 and is currently a (semi-) retired Research Professor of Sociology here.

In 1988, Stephen visited Wayne State University (WSU), in Detroit, to help set up a staff and student exchange programme – which still continues today. It was at WSU that he met Professor Heidi Gottfried, who is co-editor of the handbook.

The other co-editor, Edward Granter, obtained his PhD in Sociology from Salford in 2008 and published it as a book entitled Critical Social Theory and the End of Work. He is now a lecturer in People, Management and Organizations at Manchester Business School.

The Handbook shows how the contours of work and employment are changing dramatically and is intended to help researchers, teachers, students and practitioners understand the impact of these changes on individuals, groups, organizations and societies.

The Handbook also features other contributions from academics and alumni of the University. Professor Abigail Gregory, Associate Dean Internationalisation, School of Arts & Media, contributed a chapter on work-life balance. She is Professor of Comparative Sociology and a member of the Centre for Social Research at the University.

And Professor Philip Hodgkiss, who obtained his PhD from Salford in 1981, wrote a chapter on the idea and the ideal of dignity in the sociology of work while MSc Sociology graduate Tracey Warren (now Professor of Sociology, University of Nottingham) contributed the chapter on work and social theory.

An endorsement for the book was drafted by Alan Irwin, Professor of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, who graduated from Salford in 1978 with a degree in Languages and Sociology.

Greg Smith, Professor of Sociology in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences, said: “These multiple Salford University connections attest to the historical vibrancy and contemporary influence of sociology at Salford.”

“Steve Edgell has long maintained that work is a key sociological category, essential for understanding modern societies and how they are changing. The prominence of University of Salford sociologists in this book is testimony to his ongoing impact.”

The Handbook comprises an introduction by the editors plus 34 original chapters by leading specialists on different aspects of the sociology of work and employment.

The expert contributions are structured around six core themes – Historical Context and Social Divisions, The Experience of Work, Work and Organization, Non-standard Forms of Work and Employment, Work and Life Beyond Employment, and Globalization and the Future of Work.

Professor Smith added: “The international focus of this book is not only reflected in the range and content of the chapters but also in the diverse institutional affiliations of the contributors, which include universities in Britain, USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Australia, and Taiwan.”

More details can be found on the Sage website or contact Steve at s.r.edgell@salford.ac.uk.

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