Marxist Sociology Blog: Theory, research, politics2018-10-24T10:00:29-04:00

Autogestión: Origins and activism from Algerian revolution to Mexico City punk

The history of autogestión demonstrates how academic discourses and pieces of political ideologies circulate and are rearticulated with incredible and unpredictable momentum around the world. Scholarship (even excellent, well-meaning, and even politically committed scholarship) reorganizes this coeval churning of continual mutual influence to obscure some connections and exaggerate others. Prestige scholarship systematically ignores and erases how activism, popular culture, and scholarship from the Global South influence and are appropriated by European and North American scholars. Autogestión, a term I argue was coined by North African revolutionaries, becomes displaced and expropriated to Yugoslavia. In other words, scholarship is very often a process of accumulation by dispossession.

By |Feb 8, 2023|Categories: Blog article, New book|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Autogestión: Origins and activism from Algerian revolution to Mexico City punk

Union advantage? Most workers in Niagara don’t see it that way

Why don’t people always act in their own collective self-interest? This classic puzzle in sociological analysis led us to question why so many workers – even the most precarious among them – were so disinterested in unions as a means to achieve higher pay and better working conditions.  If the benefits of unionization are so obvious, why don’t more workers join? For many union leaders and activists, the answer is obvious: anti-union labor laws and employer-led union avoidance strategies impede organizing efforts, while corporate media dupe many working-class people into thinking that unions are outdated, disruptive, and ultimately unnecessary. But the answer is more complicated and the findings in our recent study should sound alarm bells for unions seeking to build working-class power.

The study

In 2017, we surveyed about 700 people living in Ontario’s Niagara Region and asked them about their jobs. For context, the Niagara region is not entirely dissimilar to the U.S. Rust Belt insofar as it is former manufacturing hub that lost stable manufacturing jobs over decades and gained jobs in healthcare, education, gaming, and tourism. Based on 10 questions about the nature of their work, we were able to assign each respondent a […]

By |Jan 25, 2023|Categories: Blog article, Research|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Union advantage? Most workers in Niagara don’t see it that way

Way Back on Land Back: Company colonies in Early North American Capitalism

The US 1619 project is aimed at making visible the erasure of Black history and contributions of Africans to early America. Seldom noted, it was the Virginia Company that directed the labour of Africans first arriving on the White Lion that year – Virginia was not merely a generic ‘English colony’ as it is typically called. And when Harvard University released a report into its own connection to slavery, relevant colonizing companies like the Massachusetts Bay and Providence Island Companies were omitted. Likewise, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation CommissionCalls to Action’ mainly focus on church and state roles in settler colonial atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples, ignoring the 200 years in which Hudson’s Bay Company was the principal colonizing actor in what later became western Canada – not only developing the fur trade, but also negotiating private treaties with Indigenous peoples, most notably the 1817 treatybetween Hudson’s Bay shareholder Lord Selkirk and Saulteaux Chief Peguis, and 14 treaties between Hudson’s Bay Chief Factor James Douglas and Coast Salish peoples in the 1850s – all of which were penned prior to the formation of Crown colonies or sovereign domestic states.

From Eric […]

By |Jan 18, 2023|Categories: Blog article, Research|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Way Back on Land Back: Company colonies in Early North American Capitalism

Bringing Capital Back Again In Slavery and Abolition

Value did not destroy slavery, human actions did. My point is that those actions were mediated by value relations. It is high time to see capital in history again both in past and present. Perhaps all the more so now, that the combined crises of world democracy, world governance and global ecology demand collective action, but collective action seems insufficient to resolve them on its own.

By |Jan 11, 2023|Categories: Blog article, Research|Tags: , |Comments Off on Bringing Capital Back Again In Slavery and Abolition

Du Bois’s Marxism and the Political Economy of Race

Du Bois's scholarship and political commitments were not fixed. Rather, his scholarship was always informed by his engagement with politics, and his politics was always informed by his sharp, sociological mind.

By |Jan 4, 2023|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on Du Bois’s Marxism and the Political Economy of Race
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