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This programme is concerned with the study of an extreme occupation - that of trawler fishing. Its objectives are : (a) to show that economic categories like occupations can be studied from a soci...ological perspective and, (b) to demonstrate that deviant case analysis - i.e. the study of the abnormal or the extreme can aid our understanding of the normal and thus help us to make generalisations about the social structureof occupations. The programme pursues these objectives by studying five ways in which trawler fishing is an extreme occupation and making comparisons with occupations that are less extreme. The five ways are: The impact of work on the rest of a man's life; the relations between a fisherman and others in his 'peer group' at sea and on shore; the career structure of trawler fishermen, with early entry and early retirement; the position of management - the skipper; the correlations between occupation and family poverty. The programme concludes by stating, a number of other ways in which deviant case analysis can be used to shed light on normal situations. The programme is a combination of film (used to highlight the extreme nature of trawler fishing) and studio analysis. The speaker is Jeremy Tunstall, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D100, Understanding society: a foundation course
Item code: D100; 13; 1972
First transmission date: 16-04-1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:33
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Michael Drake; Jeremy Tunstall
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Fishermen; Hull; Trawling
Footage description: Michael Drake introduces the programme. He discusses some of the ways in which sociologists are interested in economic behaviour. The commentary by Jeremy Tunstall which follows is accompanied by film sequences of trawler fishermen at work and off duty. The unit is concerned with the sociology of the trawler fishing industry. Tunstall with a map of the North Atlantic and Arctic waters, points out where British trawlermen fish. The physical conditions under which they work are shown. Tunstall discusses fishermens pay in relation to other industries. The high death rate of trawler fishermen is taken up and their standardised mortality ratio for accidents 1959-63 looked at. With aid of a diagram, Tunstall discusses the typical working year of a fisherman - time spent working, at leisure, unemployed, etc. Effect of long absence on family life discussed. Tunstall looks at exchange relationships among fluctuating peer groups of trawlermen. (Work and leisure peer groups). Tunstall discusses the attractions and disadvantages of fishing as a career. He lists some of the factors that lead young boys to enter the profession and what they can look forward to. Fishing is compared, with other career patterns with aid of a "Typical Career Pattern chart". Social and economic status of the trawler skipper is discussed. His career is compared with other executive careers in other industries. The family/poverty/occupation correlation of the trawler fishermen is examined. Shots of fishermen's homes and families in Hull. Tunstall sums up the five ways in which he feels fishing is an extreme occupation. He discusses reasons for studying extreme occupations such as fishing; Deviant case analysis aids in understanding what is more general in ordinary occupations.
Master spool number: 6HT/70106
Production number: LT70106
Videofinder number: 3374
Available to public: no