Source: UNIV OF WISCONSIN submitted to
LABOR AND DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
Sponsoring Institution
State Agricultural Experiment Station
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0209411
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
WIS01127
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2006
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2011
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Collins, J.
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF WISCONSIN
21 N PARK ST STE 6401
MADISON,WI 53715-1218
Performing Department
Community and Environmental Sociology
Non Technical Summary
Workers face processes of change that take place at a scale far larger than the factory in which they work. Local communities face processes of change that emanate from places far beyond their own region. This research seeks new ways to analyze the political and economic forces that affect workers and communities, as well as the way that local communities understand and respond to those forces. We need new frameworks for conceptualizing the ways that global forces affect the development of local communities. This research seeks new ways to analyze the political and economic forces that affect workers and communities, as well as the way that local communities understand and respond to those forces. Its goal is to use innovative methodologies to map political economic forces and to use multi-sited and comparative ethnography to document local outcomes.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
100%
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
6066120308050%
8036099308050%
Goals / Objectives
The goal of this research program is to investigate labor and development issues within a global framework. It links political economic trends with local outcomes. The research of the principal investigator has focused on labor process and has included projects on agricultural labor in Peru and Brazil, domestic labor and informal economy in the U.S. and apparel industry work in the U.S. and Mexico. She is currently engaged in a project on the low-waged service sector work of women leaving welfare in the U.S. Most of her research addresses the question: how has globalization of the labor market in some sectors, as well as changing political regulation of work, affected the social relations of work, the way the work process is organized, and opportunities for negotiating with employers. Graduate students currently working with the principal investigator are involved in a diverse array of projects on topics including: 1) the effects on local communities of natural gas extraction in Bolivia; 2) the role of new trade agreements in structuring the ability of first and third world communities to participate in global cotton trade; 3) how geographic indicators (denominations of origin of products) affect the ability of agricultural communities to participate in global trade; 4)inter-ethnic labor relations in Turkey's textile sector; 5) how communities are taking advantage of new opportunities for organic agriculture in Poland after accession to the European Union; 6) how grocery chains are structuring production of fresh vegetables for the national market in Nicaragua; 7) a comparison of tobacco producing communities in the U.S. and Argentina. These projects share the goal of exploring how changing political economic conditions affect workers and local communities and how workers and communities respond.
Project Methods
This is case study research that combines the techniques of political economic research with those of ethnography and cultural studies. The investigators use diverse tools of political economy to map the forces affecting local communities. These include commodity chain analysis, food regime analysis, or social regulation models. In addition, they use techniques of ethnographic investigation (in-depth interviews, participant observation, oral history) to document local impacts. Ethnographic data is analyzed using narrative analysis techniques. Many of the projects also rely on a comparative framework (comparing similar communities in different contexts) or a multi-sited ethnographic framework (often conducting research in multiple sites along a single commodity chain).

Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: One student participating in this project completed her dissertation in 2010. In December 2010, Nicole Breazeale defended her dissertation entitled:"Kicking the Tobacco Habit: Small Farmers, Local Markets, and the Consequences of Global Tobacco Standards in Misiones, Argentina." The dissertation explored the impacts of global tobacco standards and corporate marketing and sourcing strategies on small tobacco producers in Argentina. Papers presented at professional meetings by primary investigator: "Walmart's Haunted Aisles: Crisis, Profits and the Global Race to the Bottom." American Anthropological Association, New Orleans. [This paper makes the argument that shifts in Wal-Mart's corporate strategy can be seen as an index of economic climate]; "The Construction of "Citizenship's Others" in the Labor Market." American Sociological Association, Atlanta. [This paper addresses the labor market impacts of workfare employment]. Dissertator Jennifer Wiegel continues to research the impacts of grocery chain consolidation on small farmers in Nicaragua. Three new PhD students joined the project: Annabel Ipsen (Sociology), who is researching gender and labor relations in the Chilean fruit sector, Victor Okorie (Development Studies) who is researching conflict in the oil producing region of the Niger Delta, Nigeria, and Cristina Bain, who is researching gender and small-scale entrepreneurship in Vietnam. PARTICIPANTS: Not relevant to this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
One strand of my recent research has focused on the impacts of welfare reform on low-wage service sector workers. This research identifies a series of ways that non-welfare social programs such as Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation, Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security Disability programs, child care subsidies, etc. could be reconfigured to improve support for low-wage workers. It also recommends changes in the way that work requirements are structured under welfare. With the publication of my book on this topic (see below) I have received a number of invitations to speak on this issue and have been interviewed by the press on several occasions (The Nation, Change.org, Asianzine, Working Mother, WORT, Ronachan Productions). As the U.S., and especially the Wisconsin, model of welfare spreads to other states (such as Maine) and other countries (such as the UK) reporters have called to ask me to discuss the impacts.

Publications

  • Both Hands Tied: Gender, Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom in the Low- Wage Labor Market. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (with Victoria Mayer), 2010.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Three students participating in this project completed their PhD dissertations in 2009. In May 2009, Amy Quark defended her dissertation entitled: Desperately Seeking Dominance: State Competition, Corporate Strategy and Global Rules in the Cotton Trade. Amy began a position as Asst Professor of Sociology and International Studies at the College of William & Mary in September 2009. In June 2009, Brent Kaup defended his dissertation entitled: A Neoliberal Nationalization People, Politics, and Power in Bolivia's Natural Gas Sector. Brent accepted a position as Asst Professor of Sociology at the College of William & Mary in September 2009. Kathryn DeMaster defended a dissertation entitled: Waking Up to the European Dream: The Shifting Landscapes of Polish Organic Farming. Kathryn began a three-year position as Visiting Asst Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown University in September 2009. Papers presented at professional meetings by primary investigator: Economic Citizenship and Welfare Reform. American Anthropological Association, Philadelphia. Invited talks: Does Capitalism Have a Race and Gender Discussion with David Harvey, Middlebury College. Course syllabi (new to primary investigator): Soc/Rural Soc 925: Labor Studies for the Twenty-first Century (taught, Spring 2009). CES 375: International Development, Environment & Sustainability (to be taught in Spring 2010). PARTICIPANTS: Not relevant to this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
One strand of my recent research has focused on the impacts of welfare reform on low-wage service sector workers. This research identifies a series of ways that non-welfare social programs such as Unemployment Insurance, Worker's Compensation, Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security Disability programs, child care subsidies, etc. could be reconfigured to improve support for low-wage workers. It also recommends changes in the way that work requirements are structured under welfare. In October 2009, I presented these findings to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families which currently oversees welfare programs in the state.

Publications

  • Collins, Jane, One Big Labor Market: The New Imperialism and Worker Vulnerability, pp. 280-99 in Rethinking America:: The Imperial Landscape of the 21st Century United States, Jeff Maskovsky and Ida Susser, eds. NY: Paradigm Press, 2009.
  • Collins, Jane, America in the Age of Wal-Mart, pp. 97-112 in The Insecure American, Catherine Bestemann and Hugh Gusterson, eds. University of California Press, 2009.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Papers presented at professional meetings: Collins, Jane; The Solitary Wage Bargain. American Anthropological Association, San Francisco. Collins, Jane; Confronting Runaway Firms through Transnational Labor Activism. American Ethnological Society, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Collins, Jane; Neoliberal and Neoconservative Assaults on Labor: Examples from Aguascalientes and Milwaukee, American Sociological Association Mini-conference on Race, Labor & Empire, Boston, Mass. Quark, Amy. Chinese Mills, Global Merchants and Cotton Contracts: Toward a New Framework for Commodity Chain Analysis. Paper presented at the 2008 Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association, Boston, Massachusetts. Quark, Amy. Cotton Export Competition and Quality Standards: Regulatory and Technological Change in Conflicts over Standards Measurement. Paper presented at the 71st Annual Meetings of the Rural Sociological Association, Manchester, New Hampshire. Kaup, Brent,"Negotiating through Nature: Resistant Materiality and the Materiality of Resistance in Bolivia's Natural Gas Sector". For the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Boston, Massachusetts. Kaup, Brent, "Nationalizing Neoliberalisms or Neoliberalizing Nationalizations Regulating Struggle in Bolivia's Natural Gas Sector From 1990 to Present". For the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, Massachusetts. Invited Lectures: Collins, Jane; Comparing the Race to the Bottom in Manufacturing and Services, Department of Sociology, University of Montana. Collins, Jane; One Big Labor Marke Reflections from Aguascalientes and Milwaukee, Munz Center for International Studies, University of Toronto Bowen, Sarah, Geographical Indications and Rural Development: A Comparison of Two Cases." 2008. International Conference of the Local Agro-Food Systems Network, Mar del Plata, Argentina. Bowen, Sarah and Kathryn De Master, "Reconfiguring the Local: Quality Standards and Changing Farmer Practices in the European Union," 2008. Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, Manchester, New Hampshire. Bowen, Sarah, "New Rural Livelihoods or Museums of Production Quality Food Initiatives in Practice" (with Kathryn De Master). 2008. Joint Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Humans Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society, New Orleans, Louisiana. Bowen, Sarah, "The History and Future of Terroir" (Roundtable, with Amy Trubek, Kolleen Guy, and Riki Saltzman). 2008. Joint Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Humans Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society, New Orleans, Louisiana. Bowen, Sarah, "Definitions of Quality, Geographical Indications, and Power Dynamics: The Case of Tequila." 2008. Joint Annual Meetings of the Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association, Montreal, Canada. Sessions organized for professional meetings by Jane Collins: New Landscapes of Inequality. American Anthropological Association, San Francisco. The Prospects for Global Citizenship, American Ethnological Society, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: Not relevant to this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Recent research on the impacts of welfare on the low wage service sector have identified flaws in the current system of workfare and offered suggestions for reconfiguring systems of social provision. These will be more fully developed in a forthcoming book, Both Hands Tied: Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom in the Low Wage Service Sector.

Publications

  • Collins, Jane, New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democracy in America, co-edited with Micaela di Leonardo and Brett Williams. School for Advanced Research Press, 2008.
  • Collins, Jane, The Paradox of Poverty in the Transition from Welfare to Work. Review (Fernand Braudel Center, special issue in memory of Joan Smith) 30(4):283-311, 2008. Collins, Jane, The Specter of Slavery: Workfare and the Economic Citizenship of Poor Women, Pp. 131-53 in New Landscapes of Inequality, Jane Collins, Micaela di Leonardo and Brett Williams, eds. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2008.
  • Collins, Jane, Reforming Global Sweatshop Reform. Books reviewed: Seidman, Gay, Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human Rights and Transnational Activism, Ethel Brooks, Unraveling the Garment Industry: Transnational Organizing and Women's Work, Piya Pangsapa, Textures of Struggle: The Emergence of Resistance among Garment Workers in Thailand, and Sandya Hewamanne, Stitching Identities in a Free Trade Zone: Gender and Politics in Sri Lanka, in New Labor Forum 17(3):110-115, 2008.
  • Victoria Mayer, Crafting a New Conservative Consensus on Welfare Reform: Redefining Citizenship, Social Provision, and the Public/Private Divide Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 2008 15: 154-181, 2008.
  • Quark, Amy. The Contradictions of Uneven Development for States and Firms: Capital and State Rescaling in Peripheral Regions. Journal of Rural Studies, 24:291-303, 2008.
  • Quark, Amy. Social Exclusion in the New Economy. Currents, 7(1). Kaup, Brent, "Negotiating through Nature: Resistant Materiality and the Materiality of Resistance in Bolivia's Natural Gas Sector." Geoforum 39:1734-1742, 2008.
  • Kaup, Brent,"The Reflexive Producer: The Influence of Farmer Knowledge Upon the Use of Bt corn." Rural Sociology 73:1:62-81, 2008.
  • Trubek, Amy, and Sarah Bowen. 2008. "Creating the Taste of Place in the United States: Can We Learn from the French" GeoJournal 73(1): 23-30, 2008.


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The 2007 research of the principal investigator (Jane Collins)has focused on the labor market experiences of low wage workers in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin. During the past year she has worked on a book manuscript reporting the findings of ethnographic research conducted with women leaving welfare for work in these labor market areas in 2004-05. Thanks to a sabbatical leave in fall 2007, this manuscript is now 2/3 complete. Collins presented a paper at the meetings of the Work, Employment and Society group of the British Sociological Society in September 2007 and another at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in November 2007 in which she discussed the findings of this research in relation to global trends of labor market restructuring. She has also continued to write and speak about earlier research on the global apparel industry. The following PhD students working with Collins have conducted research on topics related to labor and development: Brent Kaup is conducting research on the impact of the state's nationalization of natural gas in Bolivia on local communities. He has presented two papers at professional meetings on this topic. He has also published a paper on his master's research on the adoption of new corn varieties in midwestern communities. Amy Quark has conducted research on the role of new trade agreements in structuring the ability of first and third world communities to participate in global cotton trade. She is currently completing write-up of her dissertation on this topic. She has presented two papers at professional meetings this year. She has also published on her master's research on the impacts of Lands' End Corporation on the development of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Jennifer Wiegel traveled to Nicaragua to conduct research for her project on globalization of grocery commodity chains. She presented two papers based on her research this year. Kathryn De Master is completing write-up of her dissertation on the growth of organic farming in Poland. She has presented one paper at a professional meeting this year. Sarah Bowen is completing write-up of her dissertation on how geographic indicators (denominations of origin of agricultural products) affect the ability of farm communities to participate in global trade. She has presented five papers at professional meetings this year. Nicole Breazeale is completing her research comparing tobacco producing communities in the U.S. and Argentina in the wake of new forms of control over the product. She has presented two papers at professional meetings this year. PARTICIPANTS: Jane Collins, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Rural Sociology and Women's Studies PhD students in the Department of Rural Sociology, UW Madison: Brent Kaup, Amy Quark, Nicole Breazeale, Deniz Ozesmi-Yildiz, Jennifer Wiegel, Kathryn De Master, Sarah Bowen TARGET AUDIENCES: Academic researchers, social movements, development practitioners

Impacts
These research projects have not yet reached a stage where it is appropriate to measure or describe impacts of the type specified.

Publications

  • Collins, Jane, 2007, The Rise of a Global Garment Industry and the Reimagination of Worker Solidarity. Critique of Anthropology 27(4): 395-409; Quark, Amy, in press, The Contradictions of Uneven Development in States in Firms: Capital and State Rescaling in Peripheral Regions, Journal of Rural Studies; Quark, Amy, in press, Social Exclusion in the New Economy, Currents; Quark, Amy, 2007, From Global Cities to the Lands' End: The Relocation of Corporate Headquarters and the New Company Towns of Rural America, Qualitative Sociology 30(1):21-40; Kaup, Brent, in press, The Reflexive Producer: The Influence of Farmer Knowledge Upon the Use of Bt Corn, Rural Sociology 73(1):62-81; Kaup, Brent, Negotiating through Nature: The resistant Materialities and Materialities of Resistance in Bolivia's Natural Gas Sector, Geoforum;