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By Mark Erickson

Wilhelm 'Gi' Baldamus (1908-1991) was once essentially the most specified voices in British sociology within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century. He made significant contributions to either business sociology and sociological thought, but lots of his imperative issues stay under-explored. This quantity is the 1st of its sort to interact with those questions and Baldamus’ responses, together with the booklet of 2 of Baldamus's personal later writings by no means ahead of revealed in English. a considerable biographical advent by way of the editors situates this paintings in the context of Baldamus’s lifestyles either earlier than and after his exile from Nazi Germany, including history to the exploration of his matters that examine may be underpinned via meticulous theoretical and conceptual paintings. will probably be of curiosity to sociologists, social theorists, highbrow historians, and people operating within the box of social technology learn methods.'

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Extra resources for The sociology of Wilhelm Baldamus : paradox and inference

Sample text

Baldamus alludes to their construction coming from his observations of work and the expenditure of effort, but he is unable to make the claim that these are definitive categories, or exhaustive ones. Not only that, the possibility also remains that even if these categories are based on empirical observation they have reduced the richness and complexity of experience to an attenuated concept. In addition to these points we also must note the dramatic changes in the world of work and industry in the last few decades including the massive decline of manufacturing occupations and industry, changes in the labour process and control of effort through automation, Japanisation and other management regimes, a significant feminisation of the workforce and a decline in trade union power and membership.

When he eventually retired he moved to a narrow boat on the River Severn a good distance from Birmingham University. When I visited him together with a colleague’s wife I noticed that he had not taken any of his sociology books with him; the only items on his bookshelf were some industrial psychology journals. This was not a particularly successful visit; Baldamus resented our intrusion into his now private world and he told us so. Clearly he was a unique individual. He did not go along with the changing trends of sociological thought and practice and he welded his substantial background in traditional German sociology into the most serious aspects of sociological thought in Birmingham.

Or again, structural conflict is transmuted into emotional dissatisfactions, frustrations, grievances, and deprivations. Moreover “on an empirical level, the transmutation from solid objective entities to subjectively diluted epiphenomena covers everything that goes under the name of ‘intervening variables’’’ (1971a: 24). Finally, Baldamus refers to a form of theoretical trivialisation whereby what is intrinsically a dynamic problem, such as how to explain differences in power, wealth, income and status, is transmuted into a static theoretical framework.

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