The Stratifying Trade Union: The Case of Ethnic and Gender Inequality in Palestine, 1920-1948

The Stratifying Trade Union: The Case of Ethnic and Gender Inequality in Palestine, 1920-1948

by Shaul A. Duke

Hardcover(1st ed. 2018)

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The Stratifying Trade Union: The Case of Ethnic and Gender Inequality in Palestine, 1920-1948 by Shaul A. Duke

This book examines a basic assumption behind most of the critical, progressive thinking of our times: that trade unions are necessarily tools for solidarity and are integral to a more equal and just society. Shaul A. Duke assesses the trade union's potential to promote equality in ethnically and racially diverse societies by offering an in-depth look into how unions operate; how power flows between union levels; where inequality originates; and the role of union members in union dynamics. By analyzing the trade union's effects on working-class inequality in Palestine during 1920-1948, this book shifts the conventional emphasis on worker-employer relations to that of worker-worker relations. It offers a conceptualization of how strong union members directed union policy from below in order to eliminate competition, often by excluding marginalized groups. The comparison of the union experiences of Palestinian-Arabs, Jewish-Yemeni immigrants, and Jewish women offers a fresh look into the labor history of Palestine and its social stratification.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319650999
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 10/20/2017
Edition description: 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Shaul A. Duke recently earned his PhD from the Department of Sociology at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. His work on political sociology's tendency to ignore the masses' role in endorsing repressive policies was published in Critical Sociology, and his work on technology's potential to enable independent large-scope research appeared in Current Sociology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Mandatory Palestine's Political Economy and Trade Union Regime
3. Full Union Exclusion: The Case of Mandatory Palestine's Arabs Severe Partial Union Exclusion: The Case of Yemeni Jews in Mandatory Palestine
5. Moderate Partial Union Exclusion: The Case of Ashkenazi Women Workers in Mandatory Palestine
6. Standardization, Inclusion, and Tying Together the Union Uses Model
7. Conclusion

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This theoretically sophisticated and richly documented work poses a critical question that is relevant to labor scholars all over the world: under what conditions do labor unions promote equality among workers, and under what conditions—and to what extent— do they reinforce social divisions? This is an important contribution not only to the labor history of Palestine but also to the sociology of labor and labor movements.” (Ruth Milkman, Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, USA)

“It is a rare moment that I pick up a non-fiction work and cannot stop reading it. Shaul Duke's The Stratifying Trade Union is one of the most thought-provoking and controversial texts I have read in some time.. It offers an analysis of the roles that unions can and do play under the conditions of a divided or fractured workforce. It also challenges the reader—particular those of us in the labor movement—to consider the material conditions that promote reactionary, exclusionist trade union policies and practices that further fragment the working class.” (Bill Fletcher, Jr., former President of the TransAfrica Forum, co-author of Solidarity Divided, and author of They're Bankrupting Us!)

“This is a fascinating and absorbing account of trade unionism in Palestine under the British Mandate. Steeped in social science literature, the book also reveals the personal dimensions of history. Here, we find trade unions to be significant actors in a society riven by religion and ethnicity as well as class and gender. This is an important contribution to the study of trade unionism and Palestine itself.” (Craig Phelan, Editor of Labor History and Professor of Comparative Liberal Studies, Habib University, Pakistan)

“Shaul Duke’s innovative book brilliantly explores the internal dynamics of trade unions, showing how they may become platforms for perpetuating material privileges of some workers at the expense of others. This is a must read not only for historians of mandate-Palestine but for scholars of labor relations in general.” (Ronen Shamir, Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel-Aviv University)

“This book makes an essential contribution to our understanding of how trade unions affect inequality. It provides a convincing analysis of how trade unions operate in stratified societies and the ways in which they contribute to this by excluding and marginalizing particular social groups. The book is based on a wealth of untapped primary sources and as a result also provides a gripping overview of socio-economic life in Palestine during the period of the British mandate.” (Dennie Oude Nijhuis, Assistant Professor at the Institute of History, Leiden University, Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Social History (IISH))

“The originality of Duke's book lies in the simultaneous breakdown of the Histadrut trade union's actions on three dimensions: the differential treatment of selective workers' sectors (Palestinians, women and Yemeni Jews), the diverging interests and impact of top leadership vs. lower ranks, and the historical dimension (identifying turning points in the union's policy). The result is illuminating.” (Daniel De-Malach, Lecturer, Former Chair, Department of Administration and Public Policy, Sapir Academic College, Israel)

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