Popular and elite workplace ideology and the shift to individualism
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The transformation of workplace industrial relations from collective to individualistic forms of regulation has been accompanied by a discourse alleging that workers are now ‘individualistic’ and therefore dismissive of collectivism. We contest this to show that an identifiable shift in elite (‘dominant’) ideology is not matched by an equivalent change in popular ideology. The key elements of the Australian capitalist class in shaping this change – organisers (employer associations and think tanks), executives and interlocking directorates – create and propagate individualistic ideology amongst elite groups including the state. We contrast this with shifts in measured popular opinion on industrial relations and related issues. We conclude that the revolution in workplace regulation is an adaptation to the recreation of elite ideology, not of popular ideology, and remains a disputed arena at the workplace.
New Times, New Worlds, New Ideas: Sociology Today and Tomorrow
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