Engineering Labour

Engineering Labour:Technical Workers in Comparative Perspective

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Engineers, often perceived as central agents of industrial capitalism, are thought to be the same in all capitalist societies, occupying roughly the same social status and performing similar functions in the capitalist enterprise. What the essays in this volume reveal, however, is that engineers are trained and organized quite distinctly in different national contexts. The book includes case studies of engineers in six major industrial economies: Japan, France, Germany, Sweden, Britain and the United States. Through a comparison of these six cases, the authors develop an approach to national differences which both retains the place of historical diversity in the experience of capitalism and accommodates the forces of convergence from increasing globalisation and economic integration. Contributions from: Boel Berner, Stephen Crawford, Kees Gispen, Kevin McCormick and Peter Whalley.


  • A unique collection. It should be on every scholar’s bookshelf.

    Eliot Freidson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, New York University
  • This important book meets a real need by providing in-depth material and significant insights into the historical social formation of engineers.

    John Child, Guinness Professor of Management Studies, University of Cambridge
  • Through their careful comparative analysis the authors have laid to rest all of the fashionable post-industrial fantasies about the supposed world-historical transformative significance of the technical elite which continue to confound social analysis and action.

    David Noble, Professor of Social Science, York University, Toronto