Worlds of Work pp 347-359 | Cite as

The Sociology of Work Today

Looking Forward to the Future
  • Juan José Castillo
Part of the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)


This concluding chapter has been inspired by the chapters on the “state of the art” of the sociology of work in the countries covered in this volume, as well as a number of other, similar reviews published over the last 5 years in Europe and Latin America. In it, I offer seven observations or reflections on the state of the discipline, its social context, and the prospects for the future. I begin by considering the different rhythms and levels of development of the sociology of work and, closely related to these, the social, cultural, academic, and political contexts that shape research agendas and results. The evident trends toward convergence, often more academic than real, of research topics in the different countries, then lead to a consideration of the continued importance of national and international differences, and points of noncommunication stemming from both disciplinary and linguistic divides. In this respect, I highlight what I see as some of the negative implications of the “Babelesque” character of an academic community that is fragmented by its various languages of reference. The chapter ends with some thoughts on the distinct “national paths” of presentation and argumentation that can be seen in the reports on the different countries and their authors’ discursive strategies. Finally, I conclude by pinpointing the trends identified in the different reports that constitute the surest signs of hope for the consolidation of a global academic community of sociologists of work.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan José Castillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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