One of the most significant findings of the research carried out by Walker and Guest (discussed at the end of the previous chapter) was that three-quarters of their sample were prepared to endure the tedium of the assembly line because of the relatively high wages this work paid (for many 5 per cent higher than their previous job). This combination of high pay for unskilled (fragmented) and monotonous work, for many writers, typifies working life in mature industrial societies. The expression ‘Fordism’ is used to denote not just the character of work but in addition the social and political conditions which form the background to it. The expression derives from the world-famous mass-produced automobile and its inventor, Henry Ford.
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