The conclusions asserted, as facts, the degradation of work and the homogenization of the working class that is a major cause behind the changes came in organization form and personal strategies.
Braverman's degradation-of-work thesis explained how the alienation of workers had developed in the past. Braverman's degradation of work thesis is consistent with the one that Blauner had examined in Alienation and Freedom, but Braverman outlined his case in unequivocally Marxist terms and did more than any previous researcher to make Marxism a major perspective in industrial and occupational sociology. Braverman used the term labor process to describe the technical organization of work, which had earlier been called the work process. Differences between the connotations of the words "labor" and "work", suggest the reorienting effect that Braverman's formulation had on views regarding work, workers, and the workplace. (Rowlinson, 2000, 13-14) Labor is an economic commodity exchanged in the market; work describes exertion of physical and mental effort to accomplish an end--an activity that a worker performs. Braverman held that work had been degraded by capitalism, turned into mere labor. Taylorism separated the hand from the brain and vested the brains in management and the hands in labor. Work became deskilled as technological and bureaucratic controls supplanted the self-direction of skilled workers. This process of deskilling standardized work activities, robbed work of meaning, and leveled skill distinctions among workers. It enlarged and homogenized the proletariat, which came to include clerical and semiprofessional occupations.
Braverman's focus on skills had the effect of conceptualizing the outcomes of the industrial transformation as technological, psychological, and economic rather than social. Harry Braverman does not make clear what Harry Braverman means by skill, but since Harry Braverman sees the degradation process as involving the separation of mental and physical activities, it seems that Harry Braverman has identified skills as cognitive abilities of workers and has then generalized beyond that point to make skills technical characteristics of jobs. Sociological conceptions of work based on workers' relations to each other, group control over activities, and normative definitions of technical relations are missing.
There had been a considerable body of research on the impact of technological changes and managerial control of workers before Braverman. Since Harry Braverman wrote, more has been done in response to his thesis on the degradation of skills. The research shows that historical changes in the skill level of work have not been unidirectional. The studies have used mainly, structural designs, in which occupations or some other labor force units are classified along skill dimensions, and they have included case studies of industries and occupational groups as well as aggregate studies.