Division of labour

Division of labour

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Encyclopedia
Division of labour is the specialisation of cooperative labour
Labour economics
Labor economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the market for labor. Labor markets function through the interaction of workers and employers...

 in specific, circumscribed tasks and like
roles. Historically an increasingly complex division of labour is closely associated with the growth of total output and trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

, the rise of capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, and of the complexity of industrialisation
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

 processes. Division of labour was also a method used by the Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ians to categorise different jobs, and divide them to skilled members of a society.

Trade and economic interdependence


The division of labour makes trade necessary and is the source of economic interdependence
Economic interdependence
Economic interdependence is a consequence of specialization, or the division of labor, and is almost universal. The participants in an economic system are dependent on others for the products they cannot produce efficiently for themselves. This physical interdependence implies corresponding...

.

Division of labour is a process whereby the production process is broken down into a sequence of stages and workers are assigned to particular stages.

Global division of labour



There exist, as yet, few comprehensive studies of the global division of labour (an intellectual challenge for researchers), although the ILO
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its secretariat — the people who are employed by it throughout the world — is known as the...

 and national statistical offices can provide plenty of data on request for those who wish to try.

In one study, Deon Filmer estimated that 2,474 million people participated in the global non-domestic labour force in the mid-1990s. Of these,
  • around 15%, or 379 million people, worked in industry,
  • a third, or 800 million worked in services, and
  • over 40%, or 1,074 million, in agriculture.


The majority of workers in industry and services were wage & salary earners - 58 percent of the industrial workforce and 65 percent of the services workforce. But a big portion were self-employed or involved in family labour. Filmer suggests the total of employees worldwide in the 1990s was about 880 million, compared with around a billion working on own account on the land (mainly peasants), and some 480 million working on own account in industry and services. The 2007 ILO Global Employment Trends Report indicated that services have surpassed agriculture for the first time in human history: "In 2006 the service sector’s share of global employment overtook agriculture for the first time, increasing from 39.5 per cent to 40 per cent. Agriculture decreased from 39.7 per cent to 38.7 per cent. The industry sector accounted for 21.3 per cent of total employment."

Plato


In Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's Republic, the origin of the state lies in the natural inequality of humanity, which is embodied in the division of labour.

'"Well then, how will our state supply these needs? It will need a farmer
Farmer
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, who raises living organisms for food or raw materials, generally including livestock husbandry and growing crops, such as produce and grain...

, a builder
Construction worker
A construction worker or builder is a professional, tradesman, or labourer who directly participates in the physical construction of infrastructure.-Construction trades:...

, and a weaver, and also, I think, a shoemaker
Shoemaking
Shoemaking is the process of making footwear. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume of shoes produced by industrial mass production of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or...

 and one or two others to provide for our bodily needs. So that the minimum state would consist of four or five men...." (The Republic, Page 103, Penguin Classics edition.)

Xenophon


Xenophon
Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

, writing in the fourth century BC, makes a passing reference to division of labour in his 'Cyropaedia' (aka Education of Cyrus).

"Just as the various trades are most highly developed in large cities, in the same way food at the palace is prepared in a far superior manner. In small towns the same man makes couches, doors, plows and tables, and often he even builds houses, and still he is thankful if only he can find enough work to support himself. And it is impossible for a man of many trades to do all of them well. In large cities, however, because many make demands on each trade, one alone is enough to support a man, and often less than one: for instance one man makes shoes for men, another for women, there are places even where one man earns a living just by mending shoes, another by cutting them out, another just by sewing the uppers together, while there is another who performs none of these operations but assembles the parts, Of necessity, he who pursues a very specialised task will do it best." (Book VIII, ch, ii, 4[]-6, cited in The Ancient Economy
The Ancient Economy (book)
The Ancient Economy is a book about the economic system of classical antiquity written by the classicist Moses I. Finley. It was originally published in 1973. Finley interprets the economy from 1000BC to 500AD sociologically, instead of using economic models . He attempted to prove that the ancient...

by M. I. Finley. Penguin books 1992, p 135.)

William Petty


Sir William Petty
William Petty
Sir William Petty FRS was an English economist, scientist and philosopher. He first became prominent serving Oliver Cromwell and Commonwealth in Ireland. He developed efficient methods to survey the land that was to be confiscated and given to Cromwell's soldiers...

 was the first modern writer to take note of division of labour, showing its existence and usefulness in Dutch shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

s. Classically the workers in a shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

 would build ships as units, finishing one before starting another. But the Dutch had it organised with several teams each doing the same tasks for successive ships. People with a particular task to do must have discovered new methods that were only later observed and justified by writers on political economy.

Petty also applied the principle to his survey of Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. His breakthrough was to divide up the work so that large parts of it could be done by people with no extensive training.

Bernard de Mandeville


Bernard de Mandeville discusses the matter in the second volume of The Fable of the Bees
The Fable of the Bees
The Fable of The Bees: or, Private Vices, Public Benefits is a book by Bernard Mandeville, consisting of the poem The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves turn’d Honest and prose discussion of it. The poem was published in 1705 and the book first appeared in 1714...

. This elaborates many matters raised by the original poem about a 'Grumbling Hive'. He says:
But if one will wholly apply himself to the making of Bows
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

 and Arrow
Arrow
An arrow is a shafted projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other.- History:...

s, whilst another provides Food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

, a third builds Hut
Hut
Hut may refer to:*Hut , a small and crude shelter*Hans Hut , Anabaptist leader*Hut Records, an English audio records company*Sunglass Hut International, largest American retailer of sunglasses...

s, a fourth makes Garment
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

s, and a fifth Utensils, they not only become useful to one another, but the Callings and Employments themselves will in the same Number of Years receive much greater Improvements, than if all had been promiscuously followed by every one of the Five.

David Hume


David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

 talks about "partition of employments" in "A Treatise of Human Nature" (1739):
When every individual person labours a-part, and only for himself, his force is too small to execute any considerable work; his labour being employ’d in supplying all his different necessities, he never attains a perfection in any particular art; and as his force and success are not at all times equal, the least failure in either of these particulars must be attended with inevitable ruin and misery. Society provides a remedy for these three inconveniences. By the conjunction of forces, our power is augmented: By the partition of employments, our ability en creases: And by mutual succor we are less expos’d to fortune and accidents. ’Tis by this additional force, ability, and security, that society becomes advantageous.

Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau


In his introduction to l’”Art de l’Épinglier” - The Art of the Pin-Maker - (1761), Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau
Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau
Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau , was a French physician, naval engineer and botanist. As a botanist his standard abbreviation is Duhamel...

 writes about the "division of this work":
There is nobody who is not surprised of the small price of pin
Pin
A pin is a device used for fastening objects or material together.Pin may also refer to:* Award pin, a small piece of metal or plastic with a pin attached given as an award for some achievement...

s; but we shall be even more surprised, when we know how many different operations, most of them very delicate, are mandatory to make a good pin. We are going to go through these operations in a few words to stimulate the curiosity to know their detail; this enumeration will supply as many articles which will make the division of this work. [...] The first operation is to have brass go through the drawing plate to calibrate it. [...]


By "division of this work", Duhamel du Monceau is referring to the subdivisions of the text describing the various trades involved in the pin making activity. Adam Smith has most likely misunderstood the text in French, and thought that Duhamel du Monceau was talking about the "division of labour".

Adam Smith


In the first sentence of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith...

(1776), Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 foresaw the essence of industrialism by determining that division of labour represents a qualitative increase in productivity. His example was the making of pins. Unlike Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, Smith famously argued that the difference between a street porter and a philosopher was as much a consequence of the division of labour as its cause. Therefore, while for Plato the level of specialization determined by the division of labour was externally determined, for Smith it was the dynamic engine of economic progress. However, in a further chapter of the same book Smith criticizes the division of labour saying it leads to a 'mental mutilation' in workers; they become ignorant and insular as their working lives are confined to a single repetitive task. The contradiction has led to some debate over Smith's opinion of the division of labour.

The specialization
Departmentalization
Departmentalization refers to the process of grouping activities into departments.Division of labour creates specialists who need coordination. This coordination is facilitated by grouping specialists together in departments....

 and concentration of the workers on their single subtasks often leads to greater skill and greater productivity on their particular subtasks than would be achieved by the same number of workers each carrying out the original broad task.

Smith saw the importance of matching skills with equipment - usually in the context of an organisation. For example, pin makers were organized with one making the head, another the body, each using different equipment. Similarly he emphasised a large number of skills, used in cooperation and with suitable equipment, were required to build a ship.

In modern economic discussion the term human capital
Human capital
Human capitalis the stock of competencies, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience...

 would be used. Smith's insight suggests that the huge increases in productivity obtainable from technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 or technological progress are possible because human and physical capital are matched, usually in an organization. See also a short discussion of Adam Smith's theory in the context of business processes.

Karl Marx



Increasing the specialization may also lead to workers with poorer overall skills and a lack of enthusiasm for their work. This viewpoint was extended and refined by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

. He described the process as alienation
Marx's theory of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation , as expressed in the writings of the young Karl Marx , refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony...

; workers become more and more specialized and work repetitious which eventually leads to complete alienation. Marx wrote that "with this division of labour", the worker is "depressed spiritually and physically to the condition of a machine" (Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, 1844, First Manuscript, in T.B. Bottomore, Karl Marx Early Writings, C.A. Watts and Co. Ltd., London, 1963, p.72). He believed that the fullness of production is essential to human liberation
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

 and accepted the idea of a strict division of labour only as a temporary necessary evil.

Marx's most important theoretical contribution is his sharp distinction between the social division and the technical or economic division of labour. That is, some forms of labour co-operation are due purely to technical necessity, but others are purely a result of a social control function related to a class and status hierarchy. If these two divisions are conflated, it might appear as though the existing division of labour is technically inevitable and immutable, rather than (in good part) socially constructed and influenced by power
Power (sociology)
Power is a measurement of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to...

 relationships.

It may be, for example, that it is technically necessary that both pleasant and unpleasant jobs must be done by a group of people. But from that fact alone, it does not follow that any particular person must do any particular (pleasant or unpleasant) job.
If particular people get to do the unpleasant jobs and others the pleasant jobs, this cannot be explained by technical necessity; it is a socially made decision, which could be made using a variety of different criteria. The tasks could be rotated, or a person could be assigned to a task permanently, and so on.

Marx also suggests that the capitalist
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 division of labour will evolve over time such that the maximum amount of labour is productive labour
Unproductive labour in economic theory
Unproductive labour is labour which does not further the end of the system. Therefore this concept has sense only with reference to a determined system. In classical economics the end is growth and development, in Marxian economics the end is capitalistic profit and in business the end is to place...

, where productive labour is defined as labour which creates surplus value
Surplus value
Surplus value is a concept used famously by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. Although Marx did not himself invent the term, he developed the concept...

.

Marx argues that in a communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 society, the division of labour is transcended, meaning that balanced human development occurs where people fully express their nature in the variety of creative work that they do.
See further, Ali Rattansi: Marx and the Division of Labour (Macmillan, 1982)

Henry David Thoreau


Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

 criticized the division of labour in Walden
Walden
Walden is an American book written by noted Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau...

 (published in 1854), on the basis that it removes people from a sense of connectedness with society and with the world at large, including nature. He claimed that the average man in a civilized society is less wealthy, in practice, than one in a "savage" society. The answer he gave was that self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency refers to the state of not requiring any outside aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of personal or collective autonomy...

 was enough to cover one's basic needs.

Thoreau's friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, criticized the division of labour in "The American Scholar"; a widely-informed, holistic citizenry is vital for the spiritual and physical health of the country.

Émile Durkheim


Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 wrote about a fractionated, unequal world by dividing it along the lines of "human solidarity
Solidarity (sociology)
Solidarity is the integration, and degree and type of integration, shown by a society or group with people and their neighbors. It refers to the ties in a society - social relations - that bind people to one another. The term is generally employed in sociology and the other social sciences.What...

", its essential moral value is division of labour. In 1893 he published "The Division of Labour in Society
The Division of Labour in Society
The Division of Labor in Society is the dissertation of French sociologist Émile Durkheim, written in 1893. It was influential in advancing sociological theories and thought, with ideas which in turn were influenced by Auguste Comte...

", his fundamental statement of the nature of human society and its social development. According to Franz Borkenau
Franz Borkenau
Franz Borkenau was an Austrian writer. Borkenau was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of a civil servant. As a university student in Leipzig, his main interests were Marxism and psychoanalysis...

 it was a great increase in division of labour occurring in the 1800s after the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 that introduced the abstract category of work, which may be said to underlie, in turn, the whole modern, Cartesian
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

 notion that our bodily existence is merely an object of our (abstract) consciousness.

Ludwig von Mises


Marx's theories, including the negative claims regarding the division of labour have been criticized by the Austrian economists such as Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

.

The main argument here is the gains accruing from the division of labour far outweigh the costs; it is fully possible to achieve balanced human development within capitalism, and alienation
Marx's theory of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation , as expressed in the writings of the young Karl Marx , refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony...

 is more a romantic fiction. After all, work is not all there is; there is also leisure
Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

 time.

Friedrich A. Hayek on the price system


In The Use of Knowledge in Society
The Use of Knowledge in Society
"The Use of Knowledge in Society" is a scholarly article written by economist Friedrich Hayek, first published in the September 1945 issue of The American Economic Review Written as a rebuttal to fellow economist Oskar R...

, Friedrich A. Hayek states:
The price system is just one of those formations which man has learned to use (though he is still very far from having learned to make the best use of it) after he had stumbled upon it without understanding it. Through it not only a 'division of labor' but also a coordinated utilization of resources based on an equally divided knowledge has become possible. The people who like to deride any suggestion that this may be so usually distort the argument by insinuating that it asserts that by some miracle just that sort of system has spontaneously grown up which is best suited to modern civilization. It is the other way round: man has been able to develop that division of labor on which our civilization is based because he happened to stumble upon a method which made it possible. Had he not done so, he might still have developed some other, altogether different, type of civilization, something like the "state" of the termite ants, or some other altogether unimaginable type

Globalisation


The issue reaches its broadest scope in the controversies about globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, which is often interpreted as a euphemism for the expansion of world trade based on comparative advantage
Comparative advantage
In economics, the law of comparative advantage says that two countries will both gain from trade if, in the absence of trade, they have different relative costs for producing the same goods...

.
This would mean that countries specialise in the work they can do at the lowest opportunity cost
Opportunity cost
Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the best alternative that is not chosen . It is the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone, or group, who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices. The opportunity cost is also the...

. Critics however allege that international specialisation cannot be explained sufficiently in terms of "the work nations do best", rather this specialisation is guided more by commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 criteria, which favour some countries over others.

The OECD recently advised (28 June 2005) that:

"Efficient policies to encourage employment and combat unemployment are essential if countries are to reap the full benefits of globalization and avoid a backlash against open trade... Job losses in some sectors, along with new job opportunities in other sectors, are an inevitable accompaniment of the process of globalization... The challenge is to ensure that the adjustment process involved in matching available workers with new job openings works as smoothly as possible."

Modern debates



In the modern world, those specialists most preoccupied in their work with theorizing about the division of labour are those involved in management
Management
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

 and organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

. In view of the global extremities of the division of labour, the question is often raised about what division of labour would be most ideal, beautiful, efficient and just.

It is widely accepted that the division of labour is to a great extent inevitable, simply because no one can do all tasks at once. Labour hierarchy
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 is a very common feature of the modern workplace structure, but of course the way these hierarchies are structured can be influenced by a variety of different factors.

It is often agreed that the most equitable principle in allocating people within hierarchies is that of true (or proven) competency or ability. This important Western concept of meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

 could be read as an explanation
Explanation
An explanation is a set of statements constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequencesof those facts....

 or as a justification of why a division of labour is the way it is.

In general, in capitalist economies, such things are not decided consciously. Different people try different things, and that which is most effective cost-wise (produces the most and best output with the least input) will generally be adopted. Often techniques that work in one place or time do not work as well in another. This does not present a problem, as the only requirement of a capitalist system is that you turn a profit.

Sexual division of labour



The clearest exposition of the principles of sexual division of labour across the full range of human societies can be summarized by a large number of logically complementary implicational constraints of the following form: if women of childbearing ages in a given community tend to do X (e.g., preparing soil for planting) they will also do Y (e.g., the planting) while for men the logical reversal in this example would be that if men plant they will prepare the soil. The 'Cross Cultural Analysis
Cross-cultural studies
Cross-cultural studies, sometimes called Holocultural Studies, is a specialization in anthropology and sister sciences that uses field data from many societies to examine the scope of human behavior and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture. Cross-cultural studies is the third form of...

 of the Sexual Division of Labor by White, Brudner and Burton (1977, public domain), using statistical entailment
Entailment
In logic, entailment is a relation between a set of sentences and a sentence. Let Γ be a set of one or more sentences; let S1 be the conjunction of the elements of Γ, and let S2 be a sentence: then, Γ entails S2 if and only if S1 and not-S2 are logically inconsistent...

 analysis, shows that tasks more frequently chosen by women in these order relations are those more convenient in relation to childrearing. This type of finding has been replicated in a variety of studies, including modern industrial economies. These entailments do not restrict how much work for any given task could be done by men (e.g., in cooking
Cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

) or by women (e.g., in clearing forests) but are only least-effort or role-consistent tendencies. To the extent that women clear forests for agriculture, for example, they tend to do the entire agricultural sequence of tasks on those clearings. In theory, these types of constraints could be removed by provisions of child care, but ethnographic examples are lacking.

Sexual division of labour (evolutionary perspective)


See also

  • Industrial Revolution
    Industrial Revolution
    The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

  • Industrialisation
    Industrialisation
    Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

  • Price system
    Price system
    In economics, a price system is any economic system that affects its distribution of goods and services with prices and employing any form of money. Except for possible remote and primitive communities, all modern societies use price systems to allocate resources...

  • Urbanization
    Urbanization
    Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....



Sociology of Division of labour:
  • Complex society
    Complex society
    In anthropology and archaeology, a complex society is a social formation that is otherwise described as a formative or developed state. The main criteria of complexity are:...

  • Gender role
    Gender role
    Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms that are considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time...

  • Hierarchy
    Hierarchy
    A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

  • Organisation
  • Productive and unproductive labour
    Productive and unproductive labour
    Productive and unproductive labour were concepts used in classical political economy mainly in the 18th and 19th century, which survive today to some extent in modern management discussions, economic sociology and Marxist or Marxian economic analysis...

  • Surplus product
    Surplus product
    Surplus product is a concept explicitly theorised by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. Marx first began to work out his idea of surplus product in his 1844 notes on James Mill's Elements of political economy...

  • Taylorism
  • Time use survey
    Time use survey
    A Time Use Survey is a statistical survey which aims to report data on how, on average, people spend their time.- Objectives :The objective is to identify, classify and quantify the main types of activity that people engage in during a definitive time period, e.g...


Further reading

  • Gary S. Becker (1991). A Treatise on the Family, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-90698-5,
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