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Fordism to Post Fordism in the UK

Simon Peter Taylor


This article presents an overview of Fordism and Post Fordism in the UK and looks at the transition from one period to another. It looks at the roots of Fordism in the mass production techniques used by the Ford motor company in America and its application as a label to describe the political, economic and social characteristics of an era. It is associated with the Keynesian welfare state during the period 1945-70. A change in the characteristics of an era from the 1970s onwards has also been given a label to distinguish it from the Fordist period. The era after Fordism has been given the label Post Fordism. There is a period of transition from one era to another and this is an important contextual aspect that can be associated with economic and political aspects of each period. Both terms are reviewed, and the characteristics associated with each era are presented. This shows that there are differences in the economic, political and social aspects of each era which are reflective of the changes occurring in society. There is not universal agreement between academics and scholars of the exact timescales for the application of these labels but those described in the article are the periods that are generally associated with each term.

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