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Business and society: social theory - Reading List

Business and Society (Social Theory), 2021/22, Semester 1
Jiachen Shi
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Semester 1


 Watson, T. (2008) Sociology, Work and Industry, London: Routledge (chapter 2, ‘The sociological analysis of work and industry’, pages 29-73).


Key Reading:

Heinrich, M. (2012) An introduction to the three volumes of Karl Marx's Capital ISBN: 9781583672884 (pbk. : alk. paper); 1583672885 (pbk. : alk. paper); 9781583672891 (cloth : alk. paper); 1583672893 (cloth : alk. paper), chapter 1: Capitalism and Marxism pp. 13-27. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Wright, E.O. (2005) Foundations of a neo-Marxist class analysis. In: Wright, E.O. (Ed) Approaches to class analysis ISBN: 9780521603812 (pbk.); 9780521843041 (hbk.); 0521843049 (hbk.); 0521603811 (pbk.); 9780521603812 (pbk.) Cambridge University Press, pp. 4-30. 

Additional Reading:

Crompton, R. (2008) Class and stratification. Cambridge: Cambridge Polity Press.

Göran T. (2012) Class in the 21st Century. New left review. ISSN: 0028-6060. ISSN: 0028-6060 78, November-December 2012.

Harvey, D. (2010) A companion to Marx's Capital, Volume 1. London: Verso Books (Chap.).

Hyman, R. (2006) Marxist Thought and the Analysis of Work, in Korczynski, M. Hodson, R. and Edwards, P. (Eds.) Social theory at work, Oxford: Oxford University Press 

Jessop, B. (2008) Karl Marx, in: Stones, R. (Ed.): Key sociological thinkers, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Kaufmann, S. / Stuetzle, I. (2017) Thomas Piketty's Capital in the twenty-first century ISBN: 9780674430006 (alk. paper); 067443000X (alk. paper): An Introduction. London: Verso.

Moore, R. (2008) Capital, in: Grenfell, M. (Ed.) Pierre Bourdieu : key concepts ISBN: 9781844651184 (pbk.); 9781844651177 (hbk.). Durham: Acumen Publishing Limited (chapter 6).

Ransome, P. (2010) Social theory for beginners ISBN: 9781847426741; 1847426743. Bristol: Policy Press (chapter 4 ‘Karl  Marx, capitalism and revolution’) 

Sayer, R. (2005) The moral significance of class ISBN: 0521616409 (pbk.); 0521850894 (hbk.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Savage, M. (2015) Social class in the 21st century ISBN: 9780241004227 (paperback); 0241004225 (paperback); 9780141978925. London: Penguin Books.

Standing, G. (2011) The precariat : the new dangerous class. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Wilkes, C. (1990) Bourdieu´s Class, in: Harker, R./ Mahar, C./ Wilkes, C. (Eds.) An introduction to the work of Pierre Bourdieu : the practice of theory ISBN: 0333524764 (pbk) : £12.99; 0333524756. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wright, E.O. (Ed) (2007) Approaches to class analysis ISBN: 9780521603812 (pbk.); 9780521843041 (hbk.); 0521843049 (hbk.); 0521603811 (pbk.); 9780521603812 (pbk.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Key Reading:

Giddens, A. (1992) Introduction, in: Weber M. The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. London: Routledge.

Boltanski L./Chiapello E. (2005) The role of criticism in the dynamics of capitalism. Social criticism versus artistic criticism, in: Miller, M (Ed.) Worlds of capitalism : institutions, governance and economic change in the era of globalization ISBN: 9780203023846 (e-book), London: Routledge, p.237-267

Additional Reading:

Bayley, S./Mavity, R. (2008) Life's a pitch ISBN: 9780552174862 (pbk.) : £9.99: How to Sell Yourself and Your Brilliant Ideas. Corgi: London.

Bröckling, U. (2015) The entrepreneurial self [electronic resource] ISBN: 9781473947788 (e-book); 9781473902343 (pbk.) : fabricating a new type of subject ISBN: 9781473947788 (e-book). London: Sage.

Kieran, A. (2004) Max Weber [electronic resource] : a critical introduction ISBN: 1849642389; 9781849642385. London: Pluto Press (chap 3).

Morrison, K. (2006) Marx, Durkheim, Weber: formations of modern social thought. London: Sage (Chapter 4: for reference).

Pongratz, H. J./ Voß, G. (2003) From employee to entreployee: Towards a self-entrepreneurial work force?, in: Concepts and Transformation 8 (3), S. 239-254. Available at

Ransome, P. (2010) Social theory for beginners ISBN: 9781847426741; 1847426743. Bristol: Policy Press (chapter 5: ‘Max Weber, rational capitalism and social action’, summary on spirit of capitalism p 104-109). 


 By the end of these sessions you should:

  • Be aware of some feminist theories about the evolution of workplaces
  • Offer some basic critique of the theories explored
  • Be able to apply feminist theories explored to contemporary situations

Key Reading:

Fraser, N., 2009. Feminism, capitalism and the cunning of history. New left review. ISSN: 0028-6060 97.

Yuval-Davis, N., 2006. Intersectionality and Feminist Politics. The European journal of women's studies. ISSN: 1350-5068 13, 193–209.

Additional Reading:

McDowell, L. (2010) Capital culture revisited: sex, testosterone and the cityInternational journal of urban and regional research = Revue internationale de recherche urbaine et régionale, 34(3): 652-8.

Bruegel, I. (1999) Globalization, Feminization and Pay Inequalities in London and the UK. pp. 73–93, in: Gregory, J./Sales, R./Hegewisch, A. (Eds.)Women, work and inequality : the challenge of equal pay in a deregulated labour market ISBN: 0333721020 ISBN: 0333721020, New York: St. Martin´s Press.

Crenshaw, K. (1989) Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum: 139-169 Available at

Fraser, N. (2013) Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History, in: Fraser, N. Fortunes of feminism : from state-managed capitalism to neoliberal crisis ISBN: 9781844679843 (pbk. : alk. paper); 9781844679850 (hbk. : alk. paper); 1844679853 (hbk. : alk. paper); 1844679845 (pbk. : alk. paper), London: Verso, p. 207-226.

Gottfried, H. (2006) Feminist Theories of Work, in: Korczynski, M./ Hodson R./Edwards, P. (Eds.) Social theory at work ISBN: 0199285977 (hbk); 0199285985 (pbk); 9780199285976; 9780199285983, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gottfied, H. (2009) Gender and Employment: A Global Lens on Analyzes and Theorizing of Labor Markets, Sociology Compass ISSN: 1751-9020 3: 1-16.

Hakim, C. (2000) Work-lifestyle choices in the 21st Century : preference theory ISBN: 0199242100 pbk; 0199242097 , Oxford, Oxford University Press

Ingold, J./ Etherington, D. (2013) Work, welfare and gender inequalities: An analysis of activation strategies for partnered women in the UK, Australia and Denmark’, Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170. 27(4), 621-638.

Hochschild, A. R. (2003) Love and Gold, in: Ehrenreich, B./ A.R. Hochschild (Eds.) Global woman : nannies, maids and sex workers in the new economy ISBN: 1862075883, New York City: Metropolitan Books, pp. 15-30.

Korczynski, M./ Hodson R./Edwards, P. (Eds.) Social theory at work ISBN: 0199285977 (hbk); 0199285985 (pbk); 9780199285976; 9780199285983. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McBride, A./ Hebson, G. /Holgate, VJ. (2015) Intersectionality: are we taking enough notice in the field of work and employment relations?, in: Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170, 29 (2). 331 – 341.

McDowell, L./ Perrons D./ Fagan, C./ Ray, K. and Ward, K. (2005) The Contradictions and Intersections of Class and Gender in a Global City: Placing Working Women’s Lives on the Research Agenda, in: Environment and planning. A : environment and planning. ISSN: 0308-518x ISSN: 0308-518x A 37, pp. 441–461.

Thompson, P. / McHugh, D. (2009) Work organisations : a critical approach ISBN: 9780230522220 (pbk.) : £34.99; 023052222X (pbk.) : £34.99. Basingstoke: Palgrave (Chapter 10).

Tong, R. (1997) Feminist thought : a more comprehensive introduction ISBN: 0813332958 (pbk); 0813333326. London: Routledge.

Walby, S. (1986Patriarchy at work : patriarchal and capitalist relations in employment ISBN: 0745601588 (pbk ; cased) : £7.95; 074560157X. Oxford: Polity Press (esp. Chapter 2 and 3).

Weeks, K. (2011) The problem with work : feminism, Marxism, antiwork politics, and postwork imaginaries ISBN: 9780822350965 (cloth : alk. paper); 0822350963 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780822351122 (pbk. : alk. paper); 0822351129 (pbk. : alk. paper) . Illinois: Duke University Press.

Witz, A. (1986) Patriarchy and the Labour Market: Occupational Control Strategies and the Medical Division of Labour, in: Knights, D./Willmott, H. (Eds.) Gender and the labour process ISBN: 0566009994. Aldershot: Gower.

WEEK 8: Theories of Control

Key Reading:

Fleming, P., and A. Sturdy. 2011. ‘‘Being Yourself’ in the Electronic Sweatshop: New Forms of Normative Control.’ Human relations. ISSN: 0018-7267 64(2): 177–200.

Additional Reading:

Bain, P./ Taylor, P. (2000) Entrapped by the ‘Electronic panoptican’? Worker Resistance in the Call Centre, in: New technology, work and employment. ISSN: 0268-1072 15(1): 2–18.

Ball, K. S./Margulis, S.T. (2011) Electronic monitoring and surveillance in call centres: A framework for investigation, in: New technology, work and employment. ISSN: 0268-1072. ISSN: 0268-1072 26(2): 113–26.

Callaghan, G./Thompson P. (2002) ‘We Recruit Attitude’: The Selection and Shaping of Routine Call Centre Labour, in: Journal of management studies. ISSN: 0022-2380 39(2): 233–54.

Doody, S./Chen, T.V./Goldstein, J. (2016) Varieties of Entrepreneurial Capitalism: The Culture of Entrepreneurship and Structural Inequalities of Work and Business Creation, in: Sociology Compass ISSN: 1751-9020 10/10: 858–876.

Fernie, S./Metcalf, D. (1998) (Not) Hanging on the Telephone: Payment Systems in the New Sweatshops. London: Centre for Economic Performance. Available at 

Fleming, P./Sturdy A. (2011) ‘Being Yourself’ in the Electronic Sweatshop: New Forms of Normative Control’, in: Human relations. ISSN: 0018-7267 64(2): 177–200.

Kelly, P. (2013) The self as enterprise : Foucault and the spirit of 21st century capitalism ISBN: 9781317016427 (e-book). London: Routledge.

Martin, D. (2016) Book Review: McKinlay, A./ Taylor, P. (2014) Foucault, governmentality, and organization : inside the factory of the future ISBN: 9781315796345 (e-book). Sage.

Townsend, K. (2005) Electronic Surveillance and Cohesive Teams: Room for Resistance in an Australian Call Centre?, in: New technology, work and employment. ISSN: 0268-1072 20(1): 47–59.


Key Reading:

Taylor, P./ Bain, P. (2003), ‘Subterranean worksick blues’: humour as subversion in two call centres, in: Organization Studies, Vol. 24 No.9, pp. 487-509.

Additional Reading:

Ackroyd, S. /Thompson, P. (1999) Organizational misbehaviour ISBN: 0803987366 (pbk); 0803987358. London: Sage. (esp. Chapter 3: also for general reference)

Anderson, G. (2008) Mapping Academic Resistance in the Managerial University , in: Organization Studies. ISSN: 0170-840615(2): 251–270.

Burawoy, M. (1979) Manufacturing consent : changes in the labor process under monopoly capitalism ISBN: 0226080382 (pbk); 0226080374, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Collinson, D./Ackroyd, S. (2005) Resistance, misbehaviour and Dissent, in: Ackroyd, S. Batt, R. Thompson, P. and Tolbert, P. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Contu, A. (2008) Decaf Resistance On Misbehavior, Cynicism, and Desire in Liberal Workplaces, in: Management Communication Quarterly : McQ ISSN: 0893-3189, 21 (3), 364-379.

Crowther, D./Green, M. (2004) Organisational theory ISBN: 0852929994. London: CIPD (Chapter 9, Critical Approaches’)

Edwards, P./Collinson, D./Della Rocca, G. (1995) Workplace Resistance in Western Europe: A Preliminary Overview and a Research Agenda, in:European journal of industrial relations. ISSN: 0959-6801 1(3): 283-316.

Kärreman, D./Alvesson M. (2009) Resisting resistance: Counter-resistance, consent and compliance in a consultancy firm, in: Human relations. ISSN: 0018-7267 Volume 62(8): 1115–1144.

Lawrence, T.B. and Robinson, S. (2007) Ain’t Misbehavin: Workplace Deviance as Organizational Resistance, in: Journal of management. ISSN: 0149-2063 33(3): 378-394.

Mulholland, K. (2004) Workplace Resistance in an Irish Call Centre: Slammin’, Scammin’, Smokin’ and Leavin’, in: Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170 18(4): 709–24.

Thompson, P./McHugh, D. (2002) Work organisations: a critical introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (Chapters 8 and 9).

Vincent J. Roscigno/Hodson, R. (2004) The Organizational and Social Foundations of Worker Resistance. American sociological review. ISSN: 0003-1224, 69: 14–39.

Paulsen, R. (2014) Empty labor : idleness and workplace resistance ISBN: 9781316011652 (e-book). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 



Key reading:

Frayne, D. (2015) The refusal of work : the theory and practice of resistance to work ISBN: 9781783601172 (pb); 1783601175; 9781783601189 (hb); 1783601183 (hb). Zed Books, London. Chapter two: A Provocation pp. 11-34. OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (KR 22/11/2018) 

Reed, H./ Lansley, S. (2016) Universal Basic Income: An idea whose time has come. Compass Available at

Additional reading:
Portes, K. (2017) "Discussion Paper” in Social prosperity for the future: A proposal for Universal Basic Services. Institute for Global Prosperity: University College London. pp.17-27  

Weeks, K. (2011) The Problem with Work. Duke University Press. Durham and London. Chapter 1: The Problem with Work pp. 1-36.

Benedikt F. C. / Osborne, M.A. (2013) The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?

Daly, H. (2014) From uneconomic growth to a steady-state economy ISBN: 9781783479962 (pbk.) : £25.00. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Cassiers I./Maréchal K./Meda, D. (Eds.) (2017) Post-growth economics and society : exploring the paths of a social and ecological transition ISBN: 9781138503274. London: Routledge (Chapter 2). Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Harvey, D. (2014) Seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism ISBN: 9781781251607 (hbk.) : £14.99; 9781782830085 (ebook) : No price. London: Profile Books.

Jackson, T. (2009) Prosperity without growth : economics for a finite planet ISBN: 9781844078943 (cased) : £12.99; 1844078949 (cased) : £12.99. London: Earthscan.

Jameson, R. (2016) The case for a basic income ISBN: 9781533275059. North Charleston: CreateSpace.

Mason, P. (2016) Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future. Penguin Books.

Paech, N., (2012) Liberation from excess : the road to a post-growth economy ISBN: 9783865813244. München: oekom-verl.

Srnicek, N./ Williams, A. (2015) Inventing the future : postcapitalism and a world without work ISBN: 9781784780968 paperback; 1784780960 paperback. Brooklyn, NY: Verso Books. (esp. Chapter 5 and 6)

Standing, G. (2017) Basic income : and how we can make it happen ISBN: 9780141985480 (paperback); 0141985488 (paperback). London: Pelican, an imprint of Penguin Books.

Streeck, W. (2016) How will capitalism end? : essays on a failing system ISBN: 9781784784010 (hbk.) : No price; 9781784784034 (US ebook); 9781784784027 (UK ebook). London: Verso.

Van Parijs, P. (2013) The Universal Basic Income: Why Utopian Thinking Matters, and How Sociologists Can Contribute to It, in: Politics and society. ISSN: 0032-3292 41 (2): 171–82.

Webb, T./Novkovic, S. (Eds.) (2014) Co-operatives in a post-growth era : creating co-operative economics ISBN: 9781783600779 (pbk.). London: Zed Books.

This list was last updated on 21/11/2020