In "Fragmenting Societies," David Thorns questions whether present changes in capitalist societies are forces of fragmentation. Through a comparative historical analysis of Australia, New Zealand and Britain, he examines the restructuring of the workforce, the shift towards more flexible work practices, the rise in unemployment, the growth of individualism, the diversification of regions and localities, and the creation of new social formations. Thorns challenges both the more economistic versions of the New International Division of Labour thesis and the ethnocentrism of much contemporary debate on regional change. He argues for an approach based on the distinct experiences of localities, regions and nation states. Detailed empirical data covering such topics as economic trends, employment patterns, regional diversity, state sector restructuration, consumption, home ownership, and local resistances and responses to change is provided for Australia, Britain, and New Zealand.

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