Section on Labor and Labor Movements (http://www.asanet.org/annual-meeting-2018/2018-call-submissions-information )
Panel 1: Citizenship and Labor
This panel invites papers that investigate citizenship and labor in domestic and/or international contexts. Labor has played a mixed role in relationship to citizenship. For example, the AFL-CIO did not embrace new immigrants until 1995, and some unions continue to be exclusionary. However, the Labor Movement has played a historically important role in bringing immigrants into its ranks as witnessed in the garment and textile industries. This panel is especially interested in how labor organizations (unions, worker centers, and other worker organizations) engage in practices that expand or enhance understandings of citizenship, Citizenship is broadly defined to include topics related to belonging and nation-state, the exercising of human and civil rights, civic engagement, or political mobilization.
Organizers: Belinda Lum, Sacramento City College (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carolina Bank Muñoz, Brooklyn College (email@example.com)
Panel 2: Labor, Labor Movements and the Right
From the neoliberal onslaught against labor in the 1980s and 1990s to the ascendant right wing populisms of the 2000s, there is an urgent need for sociological investigations into the roles of labor and labor movements amidst this rightward lurch of politics. In the Global North, protectionist and xenophobic currents are seen in the right’s engagement with workers. In the Global South, the right’s prominence in several countries parallels development of new economic capacities and growing integration into the global political economy. In all cases, right-wing governments have administered (or at least promised) redistribution to some sections of the working poor through social assistance and welfare programs, while others face social dislocation as they dismantle earlier social compacts. As a result, growing income inequality, polarization and violence along racial, ethnic and religious lines have accompanied the rise of the right, exacerbating divisions among workers.
This session invites papers that address the varied interactions between the Right, labor and labor movements across different country contexts. Papers may address questions such as: What tactics are deployed by the right to garner support, obstruct or repress labor and labor movements? How does this compare with past periods of right wing growth? How are workers and labor movements resisting these efforts, but also how might they be participating in or facilitating certain types of right-wing politics? What new unities, divisions, and capacities are arising in workers’ movements in the face of these challenges?
Organizers: Smriti Upadhyay, John Hopkins University (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rina Agarwala, John Hopkins University (email@example.com)
Panel 3: Race and Labor and the 50th Anniversary of the Memphis Strike
In February 1968, 1,300 black Memphis sanitation workers struck for safer jobs, better pay, and union recognition, carrying signs that said “I am a man”. Rev. Martin Luther King visited Memphis repeatedly to support the strike, and on one of those visits, on April 4, 1968, he was assassinated. Despite vicious union-busting by the city government, the workers went on to win the strike.
Fifty years later, race and racism remain divisive issues among US workers, especially in the US South, where racial divisions have undermined recent organizing drives. Though migration has reconfigured the racial-ethnic mix of the country, the color line described by Dubois remains strong, as the Black Lives Matter movement and the election of Donald Trump have spotlighted. As we meet on the 50th anniversary of the Memphis strike, this session will be an opportunity to reflect on race and labor in the United States, and how and why their relationship has changed—and not changed—over the last 50 years. The session invites both historical and contemporary papers. We welcome a wide range of race-related papers including those that address organized labor (unions and other labor organization forms), cross movement collaborations, working-class communities and neighborhoods, and the impact of and challenges to racial hierarchies in the workplace (including processes of discrimination and struggles around affirmative action). We also welcome research that explore intersections of race with gender, ethnicity, class, and other social categories in the world of work.
Organizers: Chris Tilly, University of California Los Angeles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Panel 4: Section on Labor and Labor Movements Refereed Roundtables (1 hour)
Sarah Swider (University of Copenhagen)