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This handbook focuses on two sides of the lean production debate that rarely interact. On the one hand, management and industrial engineering scholars have presented a positive view of lean production as the epitome of efficiency and quality. On the other hand, sociology, industrial relations, and labor relations scholars focus on work speedups, management by stress, trade union positions, and self-exploitation in lean teams. The editors of this volume understand the merits of both views and present them accordingly, bridging the gaps among five disciplines and presenting the best of each perspective. Chapters by internationally acclaimed authors examine the positive, negative and neutral possible effects of lean, providing a global view of lean production while adjusting lean to the cultural and political contexts of different nation-states. As the first multi-lens view of lean production from academic and consultant perspectives, this volume charts a way forward in the world of work and management in our global economy.
Citizenship theory in the social sciences has a rich history with Karl Marx (1978: 40, 179) and Max Weber (1981), but since the new millennium, it has greatly expanded in its conceptual breadth and use. The new century ushered in a deluge of fresh research that has deployed “citizenship” to conceptualize all kinds of social movements and political theoretical works that incorporate multiculturalism. The term now appears to be “omnirelevant” with “almost universal appeal,” thus becoming a “universal feature of the modern state” (Jensen 2001: 23; Isin 2015: 263; Cohen 2009: 13). Evelyn Nakano Glenn made it the president’s theme for the American Sociological Association convention in 2010 (2011). Nearly any movement seeking to promote equality for gender, racial, or ethnic groups now uses a citizenship framework to advance their work.
The value of volunteering and associational groups for social political life has long interested scholars studying modern democratic societies. Since Alexis de Tocqueville published his seminal work on Democracy in America in the 1830s (2001), much focus has been on the good that volunteering in civic associations does for fostering pro-social behavior and for building public participatory processes in democratic governments. A more recent and critical view asserts that the work of civic associations can also be socially corrosive, paternalistic, intolerant of outsiders, geared toward corporate self-interest, and actively antidemocratic. In addition, much volunteering in civic groups is shallow, menial, apolitical social activity that holds little, if any, transformative social potential.
How will political sociology help us discern and analyze such changes now and in the next few decades? The future of politics is as uncertain as ever, but a brief overview of the history of political sociology may offer some clues to the theoretical challenges and opportunities ahead. For convenience, we divide the recent history of political sociology into three periods, suggesting that the field is now entering a fourth period with an expanding focus.
For the last half century, theory in political sociology has been dominated at different times by materialist or idealist approaches. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, political economy and conflict theories seemed to prevail, led by Marxist theories but followed by other forms of conflict theories, such as resource mobilization and power resources theory. At this time, political economy approaches tried to bend culture into the class conflict process (see item 1 in Figure 8.1 with the dark circle representing political economy). For instance, gender and race issues were often filtered through class conflict lenses.
Political sociology is a large and expanding field with many new developments, and The New Handbook of Political Sociology supplies the knowledge necessary to keep up with this exciting field. Written by a distinguished group of leading scholars in sociology, this volume provides a survey of this vibrant and growing field in the new millennium. The Handbook presents the field in six parts: theories of political sociology, the information and knowledge explosion, the state and political parties, civil society and citizenship, the varieties of state policies, and globalization and how it affects politics. Covering all subareas of the field with both theoretical orientations and empirical studies, it directly connects scholars with current research in the field. A total reconceptualization of the first edition, the new handbook features nine additional chapters and highlights the impact of the media and big data.