Working in the new economy: class and status identities among information technology employees in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Sam-Aggrey, Horatio (2009) Working in the new economy: class and status identities among information technology employees in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis reports on research about the class and status identities exhibited by different levels of information technology (IT) employees in St John's Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. One important finding of this research is that significant differences exist in the organization of work and the labour market situations experienced by the different levels of IT employees. This is especially the case when high-level professionals and call centre workers are compared. This study also revealed a strong relationship between the objective class position of interviewees and attitudes that can form the basis of a rudimentary class consciousness. However, these fundamental bases of class consciousness are not developed into a coherent class consciousness. As a result, class consciousness was found to be fragmentary among these employees. In terms of status, the majority of interviewees in each of the occupational strata believe that some people in Newfoundland and Labrador society have higher social status than others. The two most important findings were that descendants of the merchant class who controlled the fishery sector in the 19th century possess high status positions because of the fact that their family names are well known owing to the power and wealth they had accumulated over the years. Another significant finding is the issue of the status inequality between people originating from the outports compared to those from the urban areas. This research concludes that in Newfoundland and Labrador society, while objective class position is still an important factor in determining class and status identities, local factors play an equally important role in creating such identities. Thus, this research draws attention to some of the inadequacies of the grand theories of class and status which often ignore the influence of local and historical factors in the formation of class and status identities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9728
Item ID: 9728
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 205-219)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Group identity--Newfoundland and Labrador; Information technology--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Employees--Social conditions

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