FSD1177 Information Society, Information Work and Changes in the Occupational Structure 2000

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  • Melin, Harri (University of Tampere. The Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)
  • Blom, Raimo (University of Tampere. The Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)
  • Pyöriä, Pasi (University of Tampere. The Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)


career development, computer literacy, employment, home-based work, information and communications technology, information work, internet, job description, leisure time, occupational development, occupational life, occupational safety, occupational status, occupational structure, social change, social mobility, social status, working conditions

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The study surveyed the characteristics of Finnish employees' work and work-related use of information technology. Several questions dealt with the respondents' occupation, occupational status, size of workplace, working time and line of work. The characteristics of work were examined by asking whether the respondents' work demanded presenting ideas, whether they could influence their working pace, did the job involve management or producing information and could they influence the decisions at workplace on the basis of their status. Questions covering occupational health and safety looked into physical and mental stressfulness of work, changes at workplace during the last few years and recent emotions experienced by the respondents. Respondents were also asked whether they were on a tight schedule at work, whether they found it difficult to forget work at leisure time and would they be able to cope with their present job till retirement.

Regarding the use of information technology, respondents were asked what kind of telecommunications or computer technology equipment they used at work, did they use e-mail or Internet and which activities the use of computers was connected to. There were also questions about how they had acquired their computer skills, the extent of computer training on the job, their assessment of the equipment provided and whether they worked at home (home-based work) with the help of computers. Several questions examined the respondents' education and employment history: educational background and field of education, correspondence of work to education, the need for further education. Additional questions surveyed the respondents' working experience in management, security of their job, experiences of temporary dismissals or unemployment and their methods in seeking work. Also examined was the process by which they got their present job, whether they were interested in self-employment (becoming entrepreneurs), possible stays abroad on account of study or work and which aspects of work were most important to them.

Opinions on trade union membership, various social problems, and income disparity were also canvassed. Respondents were also asked whether they believed that there is work for those who want it, how would they react to reorganisation in their workplace, which social class did they belong to, and what was important for doing well in the Finnish society. The survey carried a set of statements relating to poverty and activities of the state. Respondents were asked who should take care of various services. Questions related to family life and leisure included marital status, number of children, spouse's occupation, leisure time activities, income of the respondent, family income and family's economic status. The study also surveyed what the respondents talked about with their friends and how important employment, family and leisure were to them. Final questions examined who supported the family in respondents' parental home, occupation of the mother and father and the occupational status of the family breadwinner.

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