Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Labor, Division of
The division of labor refers to the partitioning of work tasks between social groups, based on demographic characteristics such as race, sex, age, and social class. Responding to economist Adam Smith's argument that the division of labor would lead to wealth for all, Karl Marx countered that the exploitation of the working classes would lead to alienation and revolution. According to Marx the bourgeoisie extracts surplus value from the proletariat to increase profitability and maintain a position of power. Emile Durkheim believed that this partitioning of tasks is necessary to maintain the moral social ...