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Colloquium Series: Adam Reich
April 4, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart
In Working for Respect, Adam Reich and Peter Bearman examine how workers make sense of their jobs at places like Walmart in order to consider the nature of contemporary low-wage work, as well as the obstacles and opportunities such workplaces present as sites of struggle for social and economic justice. They describe the life experiences that lead workers to Walmart and analyze the dynamics of the shop floor. As a part of the project, Reich and Bearman matched student activists with a nascent association of current and former Walmart associates: the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). They follow the efforts of this new partnership, considering the formation of collective identity and the relationship between social ties and social change. The book draws on a wide array of methods, including participant-observation, oral history, big data, and the analysis of social networks, to reconsider the modern workplace.