• Tom Dwyer
Part of the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)


The initial intellectual motivation behind this book was an attempt to integrate the study of “life and death at work,” the study of industrial accidents, and the knowledge acquired in the sociology of work. In so doing it was ascertained that accident analysts and preventers could be more effective if their reflections included reference to explanatory insights that are sociological in nature. During the course of writing this book, industrial accidents would come to appear as little more than a metaphor for those errors that modern societies systematically produce through work. Viewed this way, the insights developed herein may be applicable beyond industry and its systematic production of accidents, waste, and other “undesirable” outputs. They may be of use in analyzing phenomena such as scientific fraud in laboratories, sentencing errors of the judiciary, dropout and failure in schools, or medical error in hospitals. Using the notion of a metaphor, new angles of reflection on the “crises” in contemporary medicine and education might be developed by focusing on the capacities of hospitals and schools to regularly produce undesired outputs.


Medical Error Sociological Theory Undesired Output Accident Rate Industrial Accident 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Dwyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Estadual de CampinasSão PauloBrazil

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