This chapter explores the conceptions of globalisation and restructuring on which the discourse of labour flexibility is based. It explores the particular representation of globalisation as an indomitable process that demands specific restructuring responses. The analysis focuses on five defining aspects of the process-centred view of globalisation: exogenous transformative forces, disciplinary imperatives, historical convergence, social prescription and the death of conflict. It argues that these guiding assumptions about the nature and form of contemporary social change have much in common with the modernisation thesis of the industrial society school. Rather than constituting a fundamental break with past practices, the global process model of social change has recast a set of ideas that are deployed to legitimate a programme of labour flexibilisation.
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