The Routledge Handbook of the Anthropology of Labor  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the Anthropology of Labor

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 10, 2022
ISBN 9780367745509
May 10, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
472 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of the Anthropology of Labor offers a cross-cultural examination of labor around the world and presents the breadth of a growing and vital subfield of anthropology.

As we enter a new crisis-ridden age, some laboring people are protected, while others face impoverishment and death, as they work in unsafe conditions, migrate to gain livelihoods, languish in the unwaged sector, and become targets of law enforcement. The contributions to this volume address questions surrounding the categorization and visibility of ‘work,’ the relationship of labor to the state, and how divisions of labor map onto race, gender, sexual, and national inequalities. In addition to the emotional dimensions and subjectivities of labor, it also examines how laborers across varied and diverse systems can articulate common experiences and identities, build organizational forms, and claim power together.

Bringing together the work of an impressive group of international scholars, this Handbook is essential for anthropologists with an interest in labor and political economy, as well as useful for scholars and students in related fields such as sociology and geography.



Table of Contents

Introduction: Sharryn Kasmir and Lesley Gill

  1. Divisions of Labor

  1. Susana Narotzky, "To have a life: Labor reproduction, value and negative value"
  2. Aviva Chomsky, "The Many Workers of Capitalism"
  3. Keir Martin, "Labour, Property and Persons: reflections from Papua New Guinea"
  4. Stephen Campbell, "Labor and merchant capitalism in Myanmar and Thailand"
  5. Don Kalb, "Between the Labor Theory of Value and the Value Theory of Labor: A Program Note"
  6. Gavin Smith, "Social reproduction and the heterogeneity of the population as labour"
  7. Andrew Herod, "Labor in the Time Of Covid-19 (With Apologies To Gabriel García Márquez)

  1. Organizing, Mobilizing and Resisting

  1. Sian Lazar, "Labour Organization: ‘Traditional’ Trade Unions and Beyond"
  2. Luisa Steur, "Class analysis across the "Capitalist/Communist" divide: Practicing the anthropology of labor in Kerala and Cuba"
  3. Ida Susser, "New forms of Labor and Resistance in the era of financialization"
  4. Julia Soul, "The International Unions as a Sphere of Working Class (re)Organization. Latin American Steel Workers Anthropological Insights"
  5. María Inés Fernández Álvarez, "Working-class, political organization and popular economy in Argentina"
  6. Dario Azzellini, "Factory Takeovers for Production Under self-management: Three Examples from Europe"
  7. Jeff Maskovsky and Julian Aron Ross, "Laboring for Whiteness: The Rise of Trumpism and What that Tells us about Racial and Gendered Capitalism in the United States"
  8. Steve Striffler, "Food, Labor, and Political Struggle"

  1. Workplaces, Non-places, and Labor Regimes

  1. Elisabeth Schober, "Working the Supply Chain: Towards an Anthropology of Maritime Logistics"
  2. Christian Zlolniski, "Space-Time Compression: The Workplace Regime of Transnational Capitalist Agriculture in Northern Mexico"
  3. Jayaseelan Raj, "Tea in Troubled Times: Labour in Indian Postcolonial Plantations"
  4. Michael Hoffmann, "Two Workplaces and a Revolution: Labor in Brick-Kilns and Food-Factories in Western Lowland Nepal"
  5. Deepa Das Acevedo, "Freedom at Work Inside and Outside the Gig Economy"
  6. Oana Mateescu, "In the Romanian bubble of outsourced creativity"

  1. Migrant Labor

  1. Josiah Heyman, "Border Walls and Passages: Effects on Labor Exploitation"
  2. Ismael García Colón, "The Unmaking of Puerto Rican Migrant Farmworkers in the 1970s"
  3. Leigh Binford, "Contract Migrant Farmworkers in North America: ‘Free’ to be Unfree"
  4. Winnie Lem, "Migration, ‘Affective’ Labour and Capitalist Reproduction"
  5. Pauline Gardiner Barber, "Going global: Philippine Migrant Encounters with Mobile Capital"
  6. David Bacon, "Migrant Laborers, Work and Communities in the U.S"

  1. Affect, Values and Subjectivity of Labor

  1. Chandana Mathur, "A Strike to Remember: Ethnographic Reflections on the Conditions of Possibility for Labor Resistance in the US Heartland"
  2. Tom McNamara and James Musonda, "We are Supposed to be the middle class": Intra-personal Responsibilities, Hierarchical Development Projects and Union Mobilization on Zambia’s Copperbelt"
  3. Andrew Sanchez, "Technologies of Transformation"
  4. Dána-Ain Davis, "Beyond Birthing: The Labor(s) of Doulas and Black Birth Workers"
  5. Manos Spyridakis, "Class and Organized Labour in Building Ships and Dreams in Greece"
  6. Jaume Franquesa, "Unruly workers and laborless landscapes: The role of marginal places and redundant people in energy transitions"

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Sharryn Kasmir is Professor of Anthropology at Hofstra University, USA. Lesley Gill is Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, USA.