What Changes in the Organisation of Time, Space and Discipline Are Associated with the Emergence of Modern Industrial Work?

1735 Words Apr 7th, 2013 7 Pages
What changes in the organisation of time, space and discipline are associated with the emergence of modern industrial work?

Word Count: 1620

This essay will discuss the changes that occurred in the organisation of time, space and discipline, as a result of the emergence of modern industrial work, whereby society relied upon the use of science, technology and ultimately mechanisation to produce its goods and services. The transition of home based independent work to working for a boss in a factory had many accompanying impacts upon society.

Between the years 1300 to 1650, there was a major change in the intellectual culture of Western Europe, towards the apprehension of time (Thompson 1967, p.56). The pre-industrial era was
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Consequently, they would leave for home. This supports the idea the working day ‘lengthens or contracts according to the task’ i.e. their working day was determined by ‘task time’. In stark contrast, modern day era has a typical fixed working day of 9:00am to 5:00pm.A further reinforcement of the emphasis on ‘clock time’ is legislation such as maximum working hours which impose the number of hours an employee can work for in a week. This demonstrates rather than ‘task time’ for which the working day would revolve around the task, ‘clock time’ has emerged, which ultimately means (obviously differing in each workplace) tasks are based upon the clock!

Grint (2005, p.58) suggests the transition from pre-industrial to modern industrial work in regards to time, may have occurred as a result of the shift from agriculture to factory based work. Thompson (1967, p.69) states the view that the movement of the clock enabled industrial capitalism to occur, as it became a crucial mechanism for integrating labour and machines, hence the irregularity of the working day was slowly diminishing in modern industrial capitalism due to high concern for time discipline in factories, which was achieved through the use of a bell, time sheet and time keeper (Thompson 1967, p.82).Additionally, Hassard (1989, p.17) states ‘time is a resource that has the