Social Polarisation in the Post-Fordist Informational Economy: Ireland in International Context
Breathnach, Proinnsias (2007) Social Polarisation in the Post-Fordist Informational Economy: Ireland in International Context. Irish Journal of Sociology, 16 (1). pp. 22-42. ISSN 0791-6035
This paper examines the processes whereby post-Fordist economic restructuring is widely held to have led to growing social polarisation in the advanced capitalist economies. Conceptual fuzziness has clouded the polarisation hypothesis, and a review of international evidence shows no clear trend towards either occupational or earnings inequality. There is stronger evidence of growing household income inequality, due mainly to changes in household composition and national taxation and social welfare policies. In the case of the Republic of Ireland, there has been a more definite tendency towards occupational, earnings and household income polarisation in the 1990s, giving rise to important policy implications at a time of unprecedented national prosperity.
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