Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 439–442 | Cite as

Organizing From Below: A Commentary on Cranford, Ridzi, Sharone, and Linders and Kalander

  • Ruth Milkman
Special Issue: Constructing Workers

Over the past three decades, labor markets have been fundamentally restructured in the US and to a lesser extent in other advanced economies as well. This transformation presents enormous challenges for workers and labor movements, as these four fine-grained studies show. Although they examine a range of specific employment (and unemployment) contexts, three in the US and one in Sweden, all the authors share an interest in the possibilities and limits of organizing from below—whether via established unions or through other types of collective action—to advance the interests of workers confronting labor market uncertainty and contingency.

As everyone knows, in recent decades unions in the global North have been struggling to survive in the face of the wholesale relocation of production facilities, followed by engineering and other white-collar functions, to regions where labor is cheaper. But this proverbial “race to the bottom” is but one aspect of the ongoing restructuring of...


Labor Market Labor Movement Union Density Unemployed Worker Employment Insecurity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUCLALos AngelesUSA

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