Date of Award

Fall 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Jerry Carr

Committee Member

Douglas Greene

Committee Member

Lawrence Hatab

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 .A337


Downsizing is the process by which a firm decreases its number of employees, even during times of a strong economy, with the stated purpose of generating greater efficiency, productivity and of course, profit. The downsizing trend in the United States during the past three decades has resulted in an enormous shift in the structure of our society. Various theorists, sociologists and economists employ differing ways of looking at this downsizing trend and its effects on the largest segment of the population; that is, the middle class.

lndications of a healthy economy are low levels of unemployment and poverty-. Downsizing involves laying off large numbers of employees and paying the remaining workers less, except those in high-skill positions. One result would appear t9 be the destabilization of society, with increasing disparity in wages among skilled and unskilled workers, and a widening of the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Studies have shown widely divergent views as to the current health of the American economy. Various sociological and theoretical viewpoints are used to sort out the conflicting data.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).