Cornell University

Book Information

Between Craft and Science
Technical Work in the United States
Stephen R. Barley (Editor); Julian E. Orr (Editor)


Paper, 1997 ISBN: 978-0-8014-8366-0
$ 31.00   £23.95

Between Craft and Science brings together leading scholars from sociology, anthropology, industrial relations, management, and engineering to consider issues surrounding technical work, the most rapidly expanding sector of the labor force. Part craft and part science, part blue-collar and part white-collar, technical work demands skill and knowledge but is rarely rewarded with commensurate status or salary. The book first considers the anomalous nature of technical work and the difficulty of locating it in any conventional theoretical framework. Only an ethnographic approach, studying the actual doing of the work, will make sense of the subject, the authors conclude. The studies that follow report daily practice filled with disjunctures and ironies that mirror the ambiguities of technical work's place in the larger culture. On the basis of those studies, the authors probe questions of policy, management, and education. Between Craft and Science considers the cultural difficulties in understanding technical work and advances coherent, practice-oriented insights into this anomalous phenomenon. Contributors: LOTTE BAILYN, MIT LOUIS L. BUCIARELLI, MIT LARRY CARBONE, Cornell University H. M. COLLINS, University of Bath SEAN CREIGHTON, Indiana University RANDY HODSON, Indiana University JEFFREY KEEFE, Rutgers University SARAH KUHN, University of Massachusetts, Lowell BONALYN J. NELSEN, Cornell University BRIAN T. PENTLAND, Michigan State University LESLIE PERLOW, University of Michigan TREVOR PINCH, Cornell University DENISE POTOSKY, Rutgers University MARIO SCARSELLETTA, Corning Glass PETER WHALLEY, Loyola University, Chicago STACIA E. ZABUSKY, The Netherlands

About the Author
Stephen R. Barley is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at Stanford University. He is Editor of Administrative Science Quarterly and of the Cornell University Press series Collection on Technology and Work. Julian E. Orr is a member of the research staff in the Work Practice and Technology Area of the Systems and Practices Laboratory of Xerox?s Palo Alto Research Center. He is the author of Talking About Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job.

Subject Area
Sociology of Work