Vulnerability and the Legal Organization of Work: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Vulnerability and the Legal Organization of Work

1st Edition

Edited by Martha Albertson Fineman, Jonathan W. Fineman


406 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138698826
pub: 2017-06-21
Hardback: 9781138698604
pub: 2017-06-21
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pub: 2017-07-06
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This book uses the concepts of vulnerability and resilience to analyze the situation of individuals and institutions in the context of the employment relationship. It is based on the premise that both employer and employee are vulnerable to various social, economic, and political forces, although differently so. It demonstrates how in responding to those complementary institutional relationships of employer and employee the state unequally and inequitably favors employers over employees.

Several chapters included in this collection also consider how the state shapes, creates and maintains through law the social identities of employer and employee and how that legal regime operates as the allocation of power and privilege. This unique and fundamental role of the state in defining the employment relationship profoundly affects the respective abilities and degree of resiliency of actual employers and employees.

Other chapters explore how attention to the respective vulnerability and resilience of those who do and those who direct work in assessing the employment relationship can raise fundamental questions of social justice and suggest new avenues for critical engagement with labor and employment law. Collectively, these pieces articulate a framework for imaging what would constitute an appropriately "Responsive State" in the employment context and how those interested in social justice might begin to use the concepts of vulnerability and resilience in their arguments.

Table of Contents

Introducing Vulnerability - Martha Albertson Fineman

Part I. Law and Vulnerability

Chapter 1: A Vulnerability Approach to Private Ordering of Employment - Jonathan W. Fineman

Chapter 2: Green Shoots in the Labor Market: A Cornucopia of Social Experiments - Katherine Van Wezel Stone

Chapter 3: The Constitutional Right to Organize - Rebecca E. Zietlow

Chapter 4: Labour Rights as Natural Rights - Sean Coyle

Part II. Work and Social Welfare

Chapter 5: Paid Care Work, Gendered Labour Law and the Vulnerability of Community - LJB Hayes

Chapter 6: Vulnerability, Workfare Law and Resilient Social Justice - Camilla Sabroe Jydebjerg

Chapter 7: Contract as Public Law: The Public Nature of Collective Bargaining Agreements - Risa L. Lieberwitz

Chapter 8: Acknowledging but Transcending Gender at Work: Applying the Model of Lifetime Disadvantage and Vulnerability Theory to Women’s Poverty in Retirement - Susan Bisom-Rapp and Malcolm Sargeant

Chapter 9: Laboring Freedom: Neoliberalism, the Jurisprudence of Obamacare, and the Welfare-State Left - Jack Jackson

Part III. Marginalized Workers

Chapter 10: A Desired Composition: Regulating Vulnerability Through Immigration Law - Silas W. Allard

Chapter 11: The Wages of Human Trafficking - Rana M. Jaleel

Chapter 12: Migrant Domestic Workers in the UK: Enacting Exclusions, Exemptions and Rights - Siobhán Mullally and Clíodhna Murphy

Chapter 13: Bad Jobs and Good Workers: The Hiring of Ex-Prisoners in a Segmented Economy - Kristin Bumiller

Chapter 14: We Are All Contingent: Fighting Vulnerability in the U.S. Workforce - Ann C. McGinley and David McClure

Part IV. Limits of Law

Chapter 15: Equal by What Measure? The Lost Struggle for Universal State Protective Labor Standards - Deborah Dinner

Chapter 16: Improving Job Quality for Low-Wage Women Workers: A 21st Century Movement - Elizabeth Ben-Ishai

Chapter 17: A Right to Request Flexible Working: What Can the UK Teach Us? - K. Lee Adams

Chapter 18: Vulnerable Communities: Proposing Community Syndicalism for Distressed Localities - Kenneth M. Casebeer



About the Editors

Martha Albertson Fineman is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. A leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence, Fineman is the founding director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, an interdisciplinary scholarly project she began at the University of Wisconsin in 1984. Since 2007, she also directs Emory’s Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, an interdisciplinary project housed in the Laney Graduate School. Her scholarly work focuses on various aspects of the legal regulation of intimacy and on the social, cultural, and legal implications of human dependency and vulnerability and includes The Neutered Mother, The Sexual Family and Other Twentieth Century Tragedies (1995) and The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency (2004).

Jonathan W. Fineman is an Associate Professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s College of Law. After earning his JD from Columbia University, he practiced law as a business litigator in San Francisco. He writes about employment law and the workplace, focusing on private ordering and contract. He also publishes and speaks about vulnerability theory.

About the Series

Gender in Law, Culture, and Society

Gender in Law, Culture, and Society
Gender in Law, Culture, and Society will address key issues and theoretical debates related to gender, culture, and the law. Its titles will advance understanding of the ways in which a society’s cultural and legal approaches to gender intersect, clash, and are reconciled or remain in tension. The series will further examine connections between gender and economic and political systems, as well as various other cultural and societal influences on gender construction and presentation, including social and legal consequences that men and women uniquely or differently encounter. Intended for a scholarly readership as well as for courses, its titles will be a mix of single-authored volumes and collections of original essays that will be both pragmatic and theoretical. It will draw from the perspectives of critical and feminist legal theory, as well as other schools of jurisprudence. Interdisciplinary, and international in scope, the series will offer a range of voices speaking to significant questions arising from the study of law in relation to gender, including the very nature of law itself.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / Gender & the Law
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Labor & Employment
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies