Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future

Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future

Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future

Revaluing Work(ers): Toward a Democratic and Sustainable Future


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How can we build a future of work that meets pressing challenges and delivers for workers? Contemporary societies are beset by interrelated ecological, political, and economic crises, from climate change to democratic erosion and economic instability. Uncertainty abounds about the sustainability of democratic capitalism. Yet mainstream debates on the evolution of work tend to remain narrowly circumscribed, exhibiting both technological and market determinism.

This volume presents a labor studies perspective on the future of work, arguing that revaluing work—the efforts and contributions of workers—is crucial to realizing the promises of democracy and improving sustainability. It emphasizes that collective political action, and the collective agency of workers in particular, is central to driving this agenda forward. Moreover, it maintains that reproductive work—labor efforts from care to education that sustain the reproduction of society—can function as a crucible of innovation for the valuation and governance of work more broadly.

Contributors: Robert Bruno, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; J. Mijin Cha, Occidental College; Dorothy Sue Cobble, Rutgers University; Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Rutgers University; Victor G. Devinatz, Illinois State University; Alysa Hannon, Rutgers University; William A. Herbert, Hunter College; David C. Jacobs, American University; John McCarthy, Cornell University; Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University; Heather A. McKay, Rutgers University; Michael Merrill, Hudson County Central Labor Council; Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Rutgers University; Saul A. Rubinstein, Rutgers University; Erica Smiley, Jobs With Justice; Marilyn Sneiderman, Rutgers University; Joseph van der Naald, City University of New York; Michell Van Noy, Rutgers University; Naomi R Williams, Rutgers University; Joel S. Yudken, High Road Strategies LLC; Elaine Zundl, Harvard Kennedy School

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780913447222
Publisher: Labor and Employment Research Association
Publication date: 10/15/2021
Series: LERA Research Volume
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tobias Schulze-Cleven is an associate professor and co-director of the Center for Global Work and Employment at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University–New Brunswick. His research examines the comparative political economy of labor markets and higher education in the rich democracies. Trained as a political scientist and working in a department of labor studies and employment relations, Schulze-Cleven engages across disciplines to understand the politics of work in the digital era. He has published in outlets such as Comparative Political Studies, German Politics, Higher Education, Journal of Industrial Relations, New Political Economy, and Politics & Society.

Todd E. Vachon is faculty coordinator of the Labor Education Action Research Network at Rutgers University's School of Management and Labor Relations. His research agenda seeks to understand the structural origins and consequences of inequality and the struggles of ordinary people to achieve greater equality and dignity through education, organizations, and movements. To this end, Vachon has published widely on labor and social movements, social stratification, and the intersection of work and environmental issues in journals such as Socius, Social Science Research, Labor Studies Journal, Sociological Forum, and the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

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