The Fictitious Commodity: A Study Of The U.s. Labor Market, 1880-1940 by Ton KorverThe Fictitious Commodity: A Study Of The U.s. Labor Market, 1880-1940 by Ton Korver

The Fictitious Commodity: A Study Of The U.s. Labor Market, 1880-1940

byTon Korver

Hardcover | August 1, 1990

Pricing and Purchase Info

$83.52 online 
$94.95 list price save 12%
Earn 418 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Covering the development of the U.S. labor market from 1880-1940, The Fictitious Commodity stresses relations of authority (versus power) in employment. Deemphasizing concepts of market and contract, Korver focuses on the differential statuses of employer/employee and demonstrates the inadequacy of conventional economic discourse on labor market analysis. U.S. companies, while undergoing rapid industrialization, tackled both organizational and technological problems. According to Korver, unskilled labor was the common root to these problems. Emphasizing the importance of this usually forgotten category, Korver's history of the U.S. labor market is seen through America's unskilled labor--its vicissitudes and its varying options of citizenship. In 19th-century America unskilled labor was both expensive and in short supply. According to Korver, new immigration coupled unskilled labor with the novel option of citizenship. Removing its segregated status, new immigration became an integral part of the "emerging world of mass production." Korver demonstrates how the ground was prepared technologically by connecting mechanization and standardization. Bureaucratization of employment relationships, development of industrial unionism, and social security serve to illustrate the organizational integration of the new immigrant. Advanced students and researchers in the field of labor economics, labor history, and the sociology of labor markets will appreciate Korver's unique approach to the history of the American labor market.
Title:The Fictitious Commodity: A Study Of The U.s. Labor Market, 1880-1940Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.44 × 6.34 × 0.84 inPublished:August 1, 1990Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313273383

ISBN - 13:9780313273384

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

?Labor markets and employment contracts can be studied from diverse academic perspectives. Although this study is primarily economic in orientation, it also uses a historical approach to analyze employment relationships in the US. Kover focuses on the period between the late 19th century and the New Deal era and describes the way in which labor markets were constructed by the interplay of employers, employees, and the state. Labor, the author contends, cannot properly be understood either as a 'commodity' or as a form of property. To the extent that American workers possessed discretionary mobility, or a meaningful opportunity to 'exit' employment, they were able to evade the authority inherent in a wage-dependent relationship. The legislative agenda of the New Deal, however, 'recognized labor for what it was: neither a collective commodity nor a regular, private one.' Accordingly, the state conferred on employees protections against unemployment while maintaining the fiction of private contracts and viable labor markets. By emphasizing the unique nature of employment and its historical context, the author underscores the importance of employer strategies in creating and manipulating the availability of work. Suitable for advanced students and faculty.?-Choice