Social polarisation or professionalisation? Another look at theory and evidence on deindustrialisation and the rise of the service sector

Jacqueline Borel-Saladin, Owen Crankshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The debate over whether or not the deindustrialisation of cities is accompanied
by the occupational and income polarisation of their working populations has
been characterised by some confusion over the relationship between incomes and occupations in the service sector. Specifically, many scholars have misunderstood the significance of middle-income service-sector occupations for their interpretations of the post-industrial class structure of cities. Through a comparative study of deindustrialisation in Cape Town, evidence is presented to show that the growth of service-sector employment can produce a large middle-income occupational class of clerks, sales and personal services workers. The growth of this class can offset the decline of middle-income jobs caused by the loss of artisans, machine operators and drivers in the declining manufacturing sector. These results therefore suggest that many studies have overestimated the extent of occupational polarisation and underestimated the extent of professionalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-664
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Studies
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • social polarisation
  • professionalisation
  • Cape Town
  • South Africa
  • deindustrialisation
  • GLOBAL CITIES

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social polarisation or professionalisation? Another look at theory and evidence on deindustrialisation and the rise of the service sector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this