Topic outline

  • Welcome!

    “There is no royal road to science, and only those do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.”         --Karl Marx

    Please feel free to email me if you have any course questions. (zhongjin@econs.umass.edu)

    • This topic

      The Nature of Capitalist Production (Week 1-2)

      Tuesday, January 28 Introduction

      *David Gordon, Richard Edwards, Michael Reich (GER), Segmented Work, Divided Workers, chs.1-2

      Session 1 the Nature of Capitalist Production (Week 1-2)

      *Adam Smith, Wealth of Nation, chs.1,2, 10, skim, available

      http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-adam/works/wealth-of-nations/

      *Karl Marx, Capital, Vol.1, ch. 7-15, skim, available http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/

      *E.P. Thompson, Time, Work-Discipline and Industrial Capitalism, 1967, PDF, skim

      • Economics of Proletarianization and Industrial Capitalism (Week 3)

        Session 2 Economics of Proletarianization and Industrial Capitalism (Week 3)

        *David Gordon, Richard Edwards, Michael Reich (GER), Segmented Work, Divided Workers, chs.3-4

        *David Montgomery, Workers’ Control in America (New York, 1979), chs.2, 4-5

        David Montegomery, Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market during the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 1992), chs.1-2

        Herbert Gutman, "Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America 1815-1919," in Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America (New York, 1977), 3-78.

        Alice Kessler Harris, Out to Work: The History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States (New York, 1982), chs.4-6

        David Von Drehle, Triangle: The Fire that Changed America (New York, 2004), chs. 1-2, 4. PDF

        Suggested Film: Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl

        • Monopoly Capitalism (Week 4)

          Session 3 Monopoly Capitalism (Week 4)

          *Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, (New York, 1998 or the 1974 version) chs. 4-6, PDF

          * Richard Edwards, Contested Terrain: The Transformation of the Workplace in the Twentieth Century, (New York, 1979), chs. 2-4, PDF

          James Green, The World of Workers: Labor in Twentieth-Century America, (New York, 1998). ch.1-2, PDF

          Katherine Stone, “the Origin of Job Structures in the Steel Industry” in Review of Radical Political Economy (Special Issue on History, 1974), 6:2, PDF

          Martha May, “the Historical Problem of the Family Wage: The Ford Motor Company and the Five Dollar Day”, Feminist Studies (Summer, 1982), pp.399-424, PDF

          • Class, Socialism, Unions and American Exceptionalism

            Session 4 Class, Socialism, Unions and American Exceptionalism (Week 5)

            *Sean Wilentz, "Against Exceptionalism: Class Consciousness and the American Labor Movement," International Labor and Working Class History (Fall 1984), pp.1-37, PDF

            *Gerald Friedman, The State and the Making of the Working Class: France and the United States, 1880-1914, Theory and Society, Vol. 17, No. 3 (May, 1988), pp. 403-430, PDF

            *Robert Goldstein, “Political Repression of the American Labor Movement”, Labor History, 51:2, pp.271-293. Also, responses, pp.295-318. PDF

            Robin Archer, Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States (Princeton, 2007), ch. 5, PDF

            Alice Kessler Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America (New York, 2001), chs.1, 5, PDF

            David Von Drehle, Triangle: The Fire that Changed America (New York, 2004), chs.7-9

            Suggested Film: Triangle: Remembering the Fire

            • Great Depression and A New Deal Labor Accord? (Week 6,7)

              Session 5 Great Depression and A New Deal Labor Accord? (Week 6,7)

               *Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, 2002), chs. 1-2

              *David Gordon, Richard Edwards, Michael Reich (GER), Segmented Work, Divided Workers (Cambridge, 1982), ch.5

              Roy Rosenzwieg, "Organizing the Unemployed: The Early Years of the Great Depression, 1929-1933", Radical America, 10 (July-August, 1976), PDF

               Lois Rita Helmbold, "Beyond the Family Economy: The Impact of the Great Depression on Black and White Working Class Women's Lives and Relations", Feminist Studies (Autumn, 1987), pp. 629-655, PDF

              Suggested Films: Riding the Rails, Uprising of '34, Rosie the Riveter, Union Maids or Salt of the Earth

               ------------------------------------------Spring Break-------------------------------------------

              • The attack on the American welfare state (Week 8)

                Session 6 The attack on the American welfare state (Week 8)

                *Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor, ch.3-6*Gerald Friedman, Reigniting the Labor Movement: Restoring Means to Ends in a Democratic Labor Movement (Routledge, 2007), chs. 5-6, PDF 

                Steven Greenhouse, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Workers (Anchor, 2009), chs. 5-6, PDF 

                David Brody, "The Rise and Decline of Welfare Capitalism" in Brody, Workers in Industrial America: Essays on the Twentieth Century Struggle (New York, 1985), pp.48-81, PDF 

                Nelson Lichtenstein, "Wal-Mart: A Template for Twenty-First Century Capitalism," excerpt from Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Centuary Capitalism, ed., Nelsson Lichtenstein, (New York, 2006) PDF

                Juliet Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline Of Leisure (New York, 1992), skim

                • Current Issues (Week 9, 10)

                  Session 7 Current Issues (Week 9, 10)

                  Handouts in economics and short articles on real-world labor issues for the following topics will be assigned accordingly.

                  Topic 1. Work and Wage Determination (the minimum wage debate?)

                  Topic 2. Inequality and Discrimination (the dynamics of discrimination)

                  Topic 3. The Role of Unemployment (labor markets in capitalism)

                  Topic 4. Labor in Globalization (the sweatshop debate?)

                  • Comparative Labor Movements and the New Working-Class Agenda (Week 11, 12 )

                    Session 8 Comparative Labor Movements and the New Working-Class Agenda (Week 11, 12 )

                    *Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, 2002), ch.7

                    *Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee, "Remaking the World of Chinese Labour: A 30-Year Retrospective", British Journal of Industrial Relations (48:3, 2010), PDF

                    *Michael Burawoy. "From Polanyi to Pollyanna: The False Optimism of Global Labor Studies." Global Labour Journal 1.2:7

                    Rina Agarwala. Informal Labor, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent in India. (Cambridge, 2013)

                    Mark Anner. Solidarity Transformed: Labor Responses to Globalization and Crisis in Latin America. (Cornell, 2011)

                    Dana Frank. Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America. (South End Press, 2005)

                    Beverly Silver. Forces of Labor: Workers' Movements and Globalization Since 1870. (Cambridge, 2003)

                    Suggested Firm: We Are Wisconsin: This is What Democracy Looks Like (2012); The Take (2004)

                    One guest speaker, Ellen David Friedman, will give a lecture on Vermont labor activism and global labor solidarity in class. (mid April)