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Do New Generations Imply The End Of Solidarity? Swedish Unionism In The Era Of Individualization

Michael Alivin, M. Sverke
Published 2000 · Economics

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The role of trade unions in modern society is challenged, partly by external factors but primarily by a threat from within the organizations. We argue that the processes of individualization and an increasing differentiation of the workforce undermine unions' traditional forms of interest representation because different generations express differing relationships to the union movement. Questionnaire data from Swedish blue-collar workers are congruent with our postulations that the older generations share the ideology and mission of their unions while the young generation expresses more instrumental union attitudes. The implications of the conceptual arguments and empirical findings are discussed with reference to union policy-making and the future roles of the trade unions.
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