Getting Paid: A Sociological Investigation of Wages and Salaries

SOCIOLOGY 3320

A Burger King worker in the United States today performs the same duties and requires the same skills as a Burger King worker in Denmark. However, the worker in Denmark earns two-and-a-half times as much money. Why? A full-time construction worker in the United States today earns $10,000 less per year (adjusted for inflation) than a worker with the same job in 1973. Construction work cannot be shipped overseas, so why the decline? What determines one's pay? Are people paid fairly? How might one know? This course seeks to answer these questions. Students will draw on a range of comparative, historical, and contemporary case studies to explore changes in the ways in which American workers get paid. Key areas of focus include: employer strategies to prevent workers from realizing their market value, the role Wall St. plays in influencing pay, and ongoing efforts to measure and reward individual productivity. The ultimate goal of the course is to upend students' taken-for-granted assumptions about pay-setting, and to provide students with a richer and more complex understanding of the contemporary world of wage and salary determination.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU Eth; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC

Section 01

Getting Paid: A Sociological Investigation of Wages and Salaries
INSTRUCTOR: Rosenfeld
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