Sociology Index


Symbolic analysts are those who engage in what Robert Reich calls symbolic-analytic services. Robert B. Reich, argues that the key job of the future is that of the symbolic analyst. Symbolic Analyst is Robert Reich's third occupational category and refers to tasks such as problem-solving, problem-identification, and strategic brokerage services. In 1989, these symbolic analysts comprised about one-fifth of the population of the United States, but they earned more than half the income. Symbolic-analytic services are all those jobs which involve the manipulation of symbols. When we talk of symbolic Analyst, we are referring to a particular form of service worker, which others might call knowledge work, and knowledge economy is seen as the area of substantial growth in the developed capitalist nations of the world.

Robert B. Reich also believes that symbolic analyst, due to the nature of work, develop distinctive life styles and social attitudes and political belief. Thus lawyers are symbolic analysts and engineers are symbolic analysts.

The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism - Robert B. Reich. Economies are rewarding the most skilled around the world with ever greater wealth while consigning the less skilled to declining standards of living. He sees the global work forces as already divided into three groups: routine producers, in-person servers, and symbolic analysts who manipulate symbols for large profits.

Fast-Capitalism: Paraethnography and the rise of the symbolic analyst. Douglas R. Holmes with George E. Marcus. "You asked the question about is the knowledge worker the same as a visual intellectual. I always like the obscure terms like symbolic analyst. Lawyers and Engineers are symbolic analysts. In other words the symbolic analyst is pretty much anybody who doesn't make his living making steel." - CADRE Invitational Transcript, Peter Lunenfeld.