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‪Tradesman: Skilled Specialist or Manager?‪

  • Mazaud, Caroline
Travail et emploi
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?The ideal-type of the division of labor in the trades is based on age groups, implying a shared practice of the trade and the mastery of the entire fabrication process by everyone in the workshop, be they employees or the boss. They all follow the same socio-professional progression: sharing a norm for the knowledge acquisition process, they subscribe to the same model of social success that culminates in setting themselves up in business. This unites them in a sort of mirror of identification, which is the basis of relations within a trade. The reality observed today, though, is distancing itself from this model. Since the 1980s legislative and institutional contexts have transformed, expanding the boundaries of what a trade business may be and lowering the barrier for starting one, thus redefining the division of labor in the trades. Comparing “departures” from and “arrivals” to the trades, we observe a tendency to separate management and productive activities, which reduces the shared practice of the trade between employees and employers. Additionally, tradespeople come from a wider range of backgrounds, leading to the coexistence of varied socio-professional career histories. Today the trades, once a pathway for social promotion for workers, have also become a safety net for career-changers from the middle class.?

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