Law and the Evolving Shape of Labor: Narratives of Expansion and Retrenchment

Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 8, 2012

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-58

21 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2012

See all articles by Catherine Fisk

Catherine Fisk

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: July 9, 2012

Abstract

This essay muses on the relationship between law, labor organizing, politics, and the role of academic scholarship on law and work since 1980. As globalization of manufacturing and labor migration have transformed American culture and labor, the boundaries of labor studies have expanded. The more expansive understanding of labor evident in modern scholarship is partly attributable to the decline in union density and the rise of social movements focused on expanding rights of marginalized workers. Yet hyper-capitalism and attacks on labor liberalism have threatened New Deal labor protections and social safety net programs that were core achievements of past labor organizing and foundations for future labor organizing. The rise of income inequality and the decline of middle class jobs, along with right-wing attacks on labor and social welfare legislation, signal a seismic cultural shift that we have only begun to experience and will shape the future of socio-legal studies of labor.

Suggested Citation

Fisk, Catherine L., Law and the Evolving Shape of Labor: Narratives of Expansion and Retrenchment (July 9, 2012). Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 8, 2012; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-58. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2102676

Catherine L. Fisk (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
(510) 642-2098 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
95
Abstract Views
526
rank
276,784
PlumX Metrics