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Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies Workshare: Labor Studies Frontiers – Prison, Precarity, and Morality

Posted: 1/23/2018 (Local Events)

This workshare features three research projects recently funded by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Three graduate students will share their projects in progress with their research questions and preliminary findings.

We distribute the selected working papers only to RSVP’d participants one week ahead of the event.


Please visit our new website for more information and the full abstracts.

“A Taste of Freedom: the meaning and experience of work for formerly incarcerated Asian Pacific Islander individuals”
By Jamie Wong, Occupational Health (Martha H. Duggan Fellowship in Caring Labor 2017)
This is a qualitative research in the realm of occupational health, investigating the encounters that formerly incarcerated API individuals have with work. Faced with the stigma of having a prison record, hidden under the model minority myth, and criminalized as perpetual foreigners with deportation orders sending many formerly incarcerated Southeast Asian American refugees back to their countries of origin, the successful transition of formerly incarcerated individuals are nonetheless measured through their engagement with commodified labor upon release. I hope to understand how individuals navigate these violent institutional barriers and what kinds of contradictory meanings and values they create and experience through work.

“Recognizing Hazardous Working conditions in Nonstandard Work Arrangements”
By Allyson O’Connor, Health Service (Washington State Labor Research Grant 2016)
This is a In the decades since the passage of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSH Act) of 1970, the evolving nature of work organization and the shift away from standard employment relationships are profoundly affecting the health and safety of workers. As nonstandard work arrangements grow in the labor market, there is need for greater understanding of hazardous working conditions beyond the traditional occupational hygiene health and safety context. In this paper, I identify three key employment conditions which may clarify the adverse health outcomes associated with nonstandard work arrangements: the breakdown in full-time work, permanent contracts, and direct employer-employment relationships.

“Becoming a Cannabis Connoisseur: Moralizing Labor as a Moral Project of the Self”
By Michele Cadigan, Sociology (Washington State Labor Research Grant 2017) Economic sociologists have moved towards an understanding of the market as a moral project where moral values inform market activities and markets reshape moral values. Despite this growing literature, how moralizing labor? the labor workers engage in to bring moral value to market activities? shapes workers? own sense of morality has been undertheorized. This study attempts to address this gap by examining moralizing labor as a moral project of the self, using Seattle? s legal recreational cannabis industry as a case study. This study contributes to our understandings of markets attempting to gain legitimacy by specifying the potential for moralizing labor to have a reciprocal effect on workers and how these effects are moderated by gender.

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Date: 01/31/2018

Time: 12:00-2:00 PM

Location: Smith 306