This article seeks to advance “new structuralist” theory by considering the effects of positional power and class on individual earnings. We contend that positional power, that is the power wielded by workers employed in industries in an interdependent economy, confers upon workers the potential to disrupt system‐wide production and creates leverage to demand higher earnings from employers. We demonstrate that positional power, in particular the per worker volume of goods and services received from other industries (or upstream production), increases workers' earnings net of sociodemographic variables and other plausible structural sources of earnings determination. We suggest that the threat of disrupting upstream production holds greater earnings potential than disrupting downstream production because of the profit realization problems associated with the former. We also show that the positive effects of positional power are not evenly distributed across the class structure, but rather are concentrated among non‐owning classes who display a social control function in the labor process. We discuss the implications of our research for future new structuralist research.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||25|
|State||Published - Mar 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science