Racial Capitalism to Study Labor and Labor Movements: A Critical of Analysis of the Application of Racial Capitalism in Labor Research

Youbin Kang, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Jaylexia Clark, University of Notre Dame

What does it mean for labor scholars to engage with a framework of racial capitalism as a theoretical and methodological approach? In this paper, we investigate how labor sociologists have used racial capitalism as an analytical framework. As an analytical framework, racial capitalism has wide ramifications for the way in which we think about and subsequently investigate issues relating to labor relations (e.g. worker bargaining power, collective action, employer leverage), capital, and exploitation. Through a critical analysis which compares research projects that do/do not use racial capitalism as an analytical framework, we demonstrate the impacts said approach has on the field of social science.

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 Presented in Session 13. Race, Class, and Labor Market Inequality