More Important Work Ethic Factors

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Herbert Gutman’s essay focuses primarily on the effects industrialization (the technological advancements of machinery) had on the labor ethics of the American working-class. The new and different working environments significantly altered the way workers acted during labor hours. However, I think Gutman also presented many facts that would suggest that industrialization itself wasn’t the largest influence on laborers’ work ethics. In my view, factors such as cultural background, gender, and age are just as, if not more, relevant to citizens’ ethics in the workplace. Different groups of people behaved in different types of ways depending on where they came from, who they were, and how old they were. While the initial transform in work environment, caused by modernization, started the changes in work ethics; beyond that it was the factors that were unrelated to industrialization that had the long-term influence. It’s important to remember that the years between 1815-1919 weren’t just heavy in industrialization, but also in immigration. Many new people from other countries were arriving in the United States and the brought there unique cultures with them. Industrialization shouldn’t be the only aspect that receives credit for controlling work ethics in America. Out of all the factors that influenced work ethics during the industrialization, cultural background was probably the most significant. The contrasts between the work habits of rural employees to skilled artisans were jarring. Workers coming from rural backgrounds would bring poor working ethics that would include: drinking on the job, gambling, smoking, and slacking off. Employers would frequently resort to fining workers who were caught breaking the rules. This type of behavior at work is most likely a direct result of the type of lifestyles they live at home. It’s not surprising that they would carry the
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