American Sociological Association

Work and Organizations

Work—mental and physical tasks to produce goods and services for human needs—is a central activity in all societies. It is a major source of an individual’s social position and social relationships, identity, and sense of well-being. Jobs and professions are ways work can be organized in return for pay, and economic organizations are the main contexts within which work is performed in contemporary societies.

Sociologists study the ways work is organized and governed, as well as evaluated and rewarded, and how work and economic organizations are related to social inequalities among individuals by gender, race and ethnicity, age, family status, education, and other social characteristics. 

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