Labor Geographies: Workers and the Landscapes of Capitalism

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Guilford Press, 2001 - Political Science - 352 pages
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Discussions of the geographic transformations wrought by capitalism generally treat corporations as the primary agents of spatial change. We hear of billions of dollars flowing here, factories moving there, venture capitalists opening up new markets, and workers having to "take it or leave it." Yet labor too is increasingly thinking and acting geographically, whether by struggling to impose national contracts; building regional, national, or international links of solidarity; or engaging in debates over local economic development. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the emerging discipline of labor geography. Combining innovative theoretical analysis with empirical case studies from around the world, Herod examines the spatial contexts and scales in which workers live, organize, and work to address particular economic and political problems. The first book-length text of its kind, this is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in working-class life, workers' organizations, and the contemporary dynamics of capitalism.
  

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Contents

Introduction Labor and Landscapes
1
Toward a Labor Geography
13
Challenging the Global Locally Labor in a Postindustrial Global City
50
Spatial Sabotage Containerization Union Work Rules and the Geography of Waterfront Work
70
Scales of Struggle Labors Rescaling of Contract Bargaining in the US East Coast Longshoring Industry
102
Labor as an Agent of Globalization and as a Global Agent
128
Engineering Spaces of AntiCommunism Connecting Cold War Global Strategy to Local Everyday Life
161
Thinking Locally Acting Globally? The Practice of International Labor Solidarity and the Geography of the Global Economy
197
International Labor Union Activity and the Landscapes of Transition in Central and Eastern Europe
222
Labor Geographies A Conclusion and a New Beginning?
256
NOTES
270
REFERENCES
303
INDEX
341
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
352
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About the author (2001)

Andrew Herod is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia. His research focuses upon trying to understand how the geography of capitalism is made and how workers lives are constituted geographically, particularly within the context of processes of economic globalization. His research has won a number of awards for creativity, including the University of Georgia Research Foundation s Creative Research Medal, the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences M.G. Michael Award, and the J. Warren Nystrom Award presented by the Association of American Geographers. He is editor or coeditor of two books and of numerous articles on organized labor, globalization, and qualitative research methods.

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