The factory as an attractive multisensory workspace

“The results of this study cast serious doubt on the ideology of the machine-haters. Even in the American automobile industry, where technology is allegedly most dehumanizing, workers expected satisfaction in their work. The situation differed little in the less industrial countries; autoworkers preferred working to leisure, not out of a sense of duty or a need for sociability, but because they thought that work ordered their lives. They did not see the factory as a restrictive and unattractive environment; on the contrary, most preferred its noise and smell to the antiseptic atmosphere of the office. Even rural migrants were not nostalgic about the farm and the urban-born rarely mused about the joys of farm life.”

Factory work is not the nemesis pictured by the postindustrial romanticists. The noise and the smell of the factory are much preferred to the dainty but dull routines of the office.

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Form, W. H. (1976). Blue-Collar Stratification: Autoworkers in Four Countries. Princeton  N.J.: Princeton University Press, p. 135f.

Form, W. H. (1973). Auto Workers and Their Machines: A Study of Work, Factory, and Job Satisfaction in Four Countries. Social Forces, 52(1), 1–15, p. 13.