Rationalization and Social Differentiation at East German Industrial Workplaces

Schmidt, Rudi
December 1995
International Journal of Political Economy;Winter95/96, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p91
Academic Journal
The transition in the former East Germany from a system of planned economy to a market economy is the subject of this essay. According to the author, the programmatic equation of individual with general interests never really functioned in the workplace reality of the former East Germany. But common patterns of communalization did arise, supported by the leveling conditions of work and remuneration, and bound up with the educational goals of counter-plan implementation. Under these conditions, social relations were shaped more by arrangements than by conflict. But these social relations are now in a process of transformation. As East German enterprises are reorganized according to the principles of market economics, old communal orientations are overlapping with social differentiations and hierarchicalizations. The author demonstrates these processes with the example of the East German construction industry.


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