Time, Work Discipline and Industrial Capitalism

By Edward Thompson
Book Review Details
Author: Edward Thompson
Page Details
Section: Book Reviews =>
Subjects: Capitalism (The Rise Of), Commons, Customary Rights & Enclosures
Posted: Modified:

Available as a PDF file here.

Another famous, readable and ground-breaking paper by Thompson, this time looking at the imposition of work discipline in the transition to industrial capitalism. He charts the change from the task orientated work of the craftsman/labourer to the division of labour in the ‘(manu)factory’ and the consequent resistance. The use of supervision, fines, wage incentive, preaching, schooling, the suppression of fairs and sports and of course, bells and clocks to form and discipline the new working class are all examined. So if you want to find out, despite their attempts to turn us into ‘Pavlov’s Dogs’, why ‘everyone is a communist when the alarm clock rings’, then this is a good place to start. (BRHG)


  1. Really interested in your excellent work. Will be very interested to see some of the later records. I think a memorial is definitely needed. Regards

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