All You That Labor: Religion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement

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NYU Press, 2011 - Political Science - 218 pages
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OC Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.OCOMathew 11:28 (AKJV). In the early 1990s, a grassroots coalition of churches in Baltimore, Maryland helped launch what would become a national movement. Joining forces with labor and low-wage worker organizations, they passed the first municipal living wage ordinance. Since then, over 144 municipalities and counties as well as numerous universities and local businesses in the United States have enacted such ordinances. Although religious persons and organizations have been important both in the origins of the living wage movement and in its continuing success, they are often ignored or under analyzed. Drawing on participant observation in multiple cities, All You That Labor analyzes and evaluates the contributions of religious activists to the movement. The book explores the ways religious organizations do this work in concert with low-wage workers, the challenges religious activists face, and how people of faith might better nurture moral agency in relation to the political economy. Ultimately, C. Melissa Snarr provides clarity on how to continue to cultivate, renew, and expand religious resources dedicated to the moral agency of low-wage workers and their allies.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Movement Context
17
Religious Ideology and Framing for Moral Agency
37
Bridge Building and Political Engagement in Racialized Economies
66
Womens Labor in the Movement
102
Ritualizing Moral Agency
122
Come Walk with Us the Journey is Long
140
Notes
161
Bibliography
187
Index
199
About the Author
205
Copyright

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