Stepan-Norris, Judith and Jasmine Kerrisse. 2023. Union Booms and Busts: The Ongoing Fight Over the U.S. Labor Movement. Oxford University Press. The book is a comparative and historical analysis of the factors that helped or hindered workers in their attempts to build unions in the U.S.’s 11 basic industries, 1900-2015. For each industry, we analyze shifts in union power (union density), as affected by the state and macro context, replacement costs of workers, union and employer strategies, and the impact of employment, race, gender, and occupation. Ultimately, we aim to reveal the lessons that these struggles may offer to today’s labor movement. We invite you to make use of our publicly available data repository for your own research. The data that we collected includes industry-level information on union membership and density, strikes, elections, unfair labor practices, employment size, race, gender, and occupation of workers, and more. If you want to purchase the book, the 30% discount code from Oxford is ASFLYQ6. Or you could ask your library to purchase it (instructions here). The first chapter is available here.
Pedraza, Silvia and Carlos A. Romero. 2023. Revolutions in Cuba and Venezuela: One Hope, Two Realities. University of Florida Press. Revolutions in Cuba and Venezuela compares the sociopolitical processes behind two major revolutions-those of Cuba in 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power, and Venezuela in 1999, when Hugo Chávez won the presidential election. With special attention to the Cuba-Venezuela alliance, particularly in regards to foreign policy and the trade of doctors for oil, Silvia Pedraza and Carlos Romero show that the geopolitical theater where these events played out determined the dynamics and reach of the revolutions. Updating and enriching the current understanding of the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutions, this study is unique in its focus on the massive exoduses they generated. Pedraza and Romero argue that this factor is crucial for comprehending a revolution’s capacity to succeed or fail. By externalizing dissent, refugees helped to consolidate the revolutions, but as the diasporas became significant political actors and the lifelines of each economy, they eventually served to undermine the social movements. Using comparative historical analysis and data collected through fieldwork in Cuba and Venezuela, as well as from immigrant communities in the US, Pedraza and Romero discuss issues of politics, economics, migrations, authoritarianism, human rights, and democracy in two nations that hoped to make a better world through their revolutionary journeys.
Conner, Jerusha O., Johnnie Lotesta, and Rachel Stannard. 2022. Intersectional politicization: A facet of youth activists’ sociopolitical development. Journal of Community Psychology, 1– 20. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22941 This article explores the sociopolitical development (SPD) of youth activists involved in climate justice and gun violence prevention movements. Interviews with 52 youth members of five different youth-led activist organizations and follow-up surveys supplied the data. We found that involvement in youth-led activist organizations facilitates a particular kind of SPD we term “intersectional politicization.” Intersectional politicization involves critical intersectional reflection paired with critical intersectional action. Critical intersectional reflection entails analysis of how marginalized populations are impacted by particular social problems and how various social issues and forces of oppression interconnect. Critical intersectional action consists of participating actively in multiple movements or activist organizations to address distinct issues simultaneously. Intersectional politicization is fostered through organizational trainings and programming, collaborative work with other organizations, dialog with fellow activists, and online activist content. Intersectional politicization raises new considerations for research on critical consciousness and youth SPD.
Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2022. “Organizing a weak anti-prison movement? Surrogate representation and political pacification at a nonprofit prison reentry organization.” Race and Space (Research on Social Movements, Conflicts and Change) 46: 87-107. The nonprofit sector has come to deliver the majority of state-funded social services in the US. Citizens depend on nonprofit organizations for these services, and nonprofits depend on government for financial support. Scholars have begun to ask important questions about the political and civic implications of this new organizational configuration. These questions have direct ramifications for the anti-prison movement given the explosive growth of nonprofit prison reentry organizations in recent years. To see how such organizations may impact political engagement and social movements, this chapter turns its focus on the intricate dynamics of client-staff interactions. Leveraging a yearlong ethnography of a government-funded prison reentry organization, I describe how such organizations can be politically active and at the same time contribute to their clients’ political pacification. Staff members engaged in political activities in surrogate representation of their clients. While staffers advocated on their behalf, clients learned to avoid politics and community life, accept injustices for what they are, and focus instead on individual rehabilitation. By closely studying what goes on within a nonprofit service provider, I illustrate the nonprofit organization’s dual political role and its implications for social movements and political change.
Paret, Marcel. 2022. Fractured Militancy: Precarious Resistance in South Africa After Racial Inclusion. Cornell University Press. What are the legacies and ongoing realities of racial capitalism in the post-civil rights, post-apartheid era? What are the causes and consequences of Black protest, after formal racial inclusion, and how do precarious layers of the working-class forge resistance? Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with activists, Fractured Militancy tells the story of post-apartheid South Africa from the perspective of four low-income Black neighborhoods in and around Johannesburg – along the way, offering parallels and contrasts to the United States. It will be of interest to scholars and students of race, immigration, social movements, development and the political dimensions of capitalism. Marcel Paret traces rising protests back to the process of democratization and racial inclusion, which took the form of an elite-driven “passive revolution” from above. This process dangled the possibility of change but preserved racial inequality and economic insecurity, prompting residents to use militant protests to express their deep sense of betrayal and to demand recognition and community development. Underscoring remarkable parallels to Black Lives Matter in the United States, this account attests to an ongoing struggle for Black liberation in the wake of formal racial inclusion. Rather than unified resistance, however, class struggles within the process of racial inclusion produced a fractured militancy. Revealing the complicated truth behind the celebrated “success” of South African democratization, Paret uncovers a society divided by wealth, urban geography, nationality, employment, and political views. Fractured Militancy warns of the threat that capitalism and elite class struggles present to social movements and racial justice everywhere.