Category Archives: Sociology

New Article: Movement Law

New Article: Amna A. Akbar et al., Movement Law, Stanford Law Review, Vol. 73, 2021.

In this Article we make the case for “movement law,” an approach to legal scholarship grounded in solidarity, accountability, and engagement with grassroots organizing and left social movements. In contrast to law and social movements—a field of study that unpacks the relationship between lawyers, legal process, and social change—movement law is a methodology for scholars across substantive areas of expertise to draw on and work alongside social movements. We identify seeds for this method in the work of a growing number of scholars that are organically developing methods for movement law. We make the case that it is essential in this moment of crisis to cogenerate ideas alongside grassroots organizing that aims to transform our political, economic, social landscape.

New Article: Both sides of the Paycheck: Recommending Thrift to the Poor Readiness Programs

Note: Article May Be Behind A Paywall

New Article: Brian Hennigan & Gretchen Purser, Both sides of the Paycheck: Recommending Thrift to the Poor Readiness Programs, Critical Socio. (Oct. 14, 2020).

This article documents how job readiness programs—as anchors of the devolved organizational landscape of neoliberal poverty governance in the United States—endeavor to instill within the poor not simply the virtue of work, but the virtue of thrift, and thus orient them to “both sides of the paycheck.” Using a comparative ethnographic study of two community-based, government-funded nonprofit job readiness programs, we show that this pedagogic focus on budgeting is central to the overall goal of conditioning clients to embrace and endure a degraded labor market. Recognizing that most participants will remain poor with or without low-wage employment, these programs suggest that it is as crafty consumers that participants may retake control of their lives. Despite the programs’ differing target populations and racialized and gendered logics, both attempt to accommodate participants to the dictates of the neoliberal economic order: jobs are hard to find and, even if you get one, wages will not be enough.