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  1. Review Essay: Combating Labor Precarity Is Hard Work

    “All that is solid melts into air,” wrote Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto, at a time when labor was becoming increasingly precarious. The experience of workplace precarity and the broader feeling of insecurity it engenders are certainly not new; they are as old as capitalism. Even so, precarious labor as a concept is enjoying quite a boom these days.
  2. Us versus Them: The Responses of Managers to the Feminization of High-Status Occupations

    What happens when more and more women enter high-status occupations that were previously male-dominated occupations? This article explores how the processes by which the entrance of women into high-status occupations has affected the hiring, income, and perceived competence of women. I present the results of a general population experiment conducted on a large, random sample of the U.S. population. The experiment was designed to explore the hiring, income, and perceived competence of all women when high-status occupations become predominantly female.
  3. Sugar, Slavery, and Creative Destruction: World-Magnates and “Coreification” in the Longue-Durée

    Recent literature in the world-systems perspective has refocused attention on questions of ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ in historical capitalism, yet rarely critically examines the underlying assumptions regarding these zones. Drawing on a developing dataset on the world’s wealthiest individuals (the World-Magnates Database), we trace the development and expansion of sugar circuits across the Atlantic world from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries to explain how the sugar commodity chain leads us to rethink some prevailing notions of core and periphery.
  4. Algorithmic Control in Platform Food Delivery Work

    Building on an emerging literature concerning algorithmic management, this article analyzes the processes by which food delivery platforms control workers and uncovers variation in the extent to which such platforms constrain the freedoms—over schedules and activities—associated with gig work.
  5. The Cognitive Dimension of Household Labor

    Household labor is commonly defined as a set of physical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Sociologists sometimes reference non-physical activities related to “household management,” but these are typically mentioned in passing, imprecisely defined, or treated as equivalent to physical tasks. Using 70 in-depth interviews with members of 35 couples, this study argues that such tasks are better understood as examples of a unique dimension of housework: cognitive labor.

  6. Trouble in Tech Paradise

    The structures of the tech industry, with its dependence on highly skilled immigrant workers, and the H-1B visa, with its dependence on sponsoring companies, bind tech workers in a cycle of legal violence.

  7. Intracohort Trends in Ethnic Earnings Gaps: The Role of Education

    This study demonstrates that studying ethnic/racial inequality on the basis of cross-sectional data conceals how such inequality might unfold over the life course. Moving beyond a snapshot perspective, we ask, Do Israel’s Jewish ethnic groups differ in their long-term earnings trajectories? Analyzing nearly 20 years of registered earnings data, the authors find that for the same cohort (25- to 32-year-old Jews in 1995), the ethnic earnings gap has widened over these years.

  8. Are Robots Stealing Our Jobs?

    The media and popular business press often invoke narratives that reflect widespread anxiety that robots may be rendering humans obsolete in the workplace. However, upon closer examination, many argue that automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence, is spreading unevenly throughout the labor market, such that middle-skill occupations that do not require a college degree are more likely to be affected adversely because they are easier to automate than high-skill occupations.

  9. Mutual Aid Networks: Informal Shop Floor Organizing among Mexican Migrant Construction Workers in San Diego

    Labor scholarship overwhelmingly continues to frame the value of migrants’ social network ties by successful or unsuccessful incorporation into formal sectors of the host economy. Within this context, migrant social network ties are commonly viewed as positive only when they lead to union-building efforts. The current study extends the social network analysis to include informal resistance and struggle.
  10. Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being

    Research on precarious work and its consequences overwhelmingly focuses on the economic dimension of precarity, epitomized by low wages. But the rise in precarious work also involves a major shift in its temporal dimension, such that many workers now experience routine instability in their work schedules. This temporal instability represents a fundamental and under-appreciated manifestation of the risk shift from firms to workers. A lack of suitable existing data, however, has precluded investigation of how precarious scheduling practices affect workers’ health and well-being.