Who are we?

The mission of the Labor Studies Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems is to build and sustain a community of activist scholars committed to fairness and social justice for all workers. Division members are researchers, teachers, practitioners, activists and workers interested in workplace and workforce issues that shape, and are shaped by, economic, social and political forces. The division supports and promotes the work of its members by providing a vibrant intellectual space at annual meetings, on social media, and in division newsletters for sharing research, policy analyses, and possible solutions to social problems related to the world of work and workers.

Why join?

Scholars and Activists Join the Labor Studies Division to:

  • Connect with others studying work and workers, both conventional and contingent, paid and unpaid, in the U.S. and across the globe

  • Find possible collaborators for scholarship and activism

  • Learn about and participate in efforts to promote social changes that guarantee equality and fairness in wages, opportunities, and respect for all members of a diverse workforce.

  • Organize to dismantle systemic and interlocking systems of oppression, such as those that operate along the lines of gender and race, that are reproduced through social practices and are embedded in social structures related to work and workplaces.

  • Commit to revealing exploitation, empowering unions and other worker organizations, challenging labor movement inertia, and promoting a sustainable, just and equitable “future of work” for all workers.

Graduate Students

The Labor Studies Division encourages graduate students to take an active role in the division which offers opportunities for working within a professional organization and developing relationships with more senior scholars and activists. The division is committed to promoting, supporting, and mentoring graduate student members. Outstanding graduate student research is recognized annually through the Harry Braverman student paper competition. The vice chair position of the division is typically reserved for graduate students or postdocs.

Division mission statement reviewed in November 2022 by Todd E. Vachon, Rutgers University, Labor Studies Division Chair, 2021-2023. No edits were made. Division mission statement edited in November 2019 by Jackie Zalewski, West Chester University, Labor Studies Division Chair, 2019-2021 and Todd. E. Vachon, Rutgers University, Labor Studies Division Vice Chair, 2019-2021.