Robert JS Ross

Robert JS Ross
Clark University · Sociology and the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise

Ph.D.

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59
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8,624
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August 1972 - present
Clark University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (59)
Chapter
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Founded in April 2000, the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) describes itself as “an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe” whose “purpose is to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States”...
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Those who read, talk about or otherwise absorb American labor history know, if only vaguely, about the Haymarket affair; about the Homestead strike and the Ludlow Massacre; about the Lawrence Textile strike and the earlier "Uprising of the 20,000" among shirtwaist workers. But - strangely - few know about the largest insurrection in American histor...
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However rare, a call to the secular and universal values of the Enlightenment is a special pleasure in an era of fractional identities where the dominant intellectual process is one which poses a "victim Olympics" as the highest form of analysis .That said, Wagar's assertion of the desirability of a "democratic, liberal, and socialist world commonw...
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This paper considers how and why an Asian enclave of small businesses has appeared in a poor neighborhood characterized by Puerto Rican and other Latino immigration in the post-industrial city of Worcester, Massachusetts. We begin by examining the role of the US in the world system, and argue that the US hegemonic role and specific political econom...
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In January of 1999 a new student movement announced itself on the cam-puses of American universities. It began a campaign for a “sweat free campus” and it did so in dramatic fashion—by occupying over the next four months Administration buildings on seven campuses—Duke (January 29), Georgetown (February 5), Wisconsin (February 8), Michigan (March 17...
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Labor rights and conditions, after the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse which killed over 1130 workers have advanced incrementally, but the terrain for workers is fraught with danger.
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When workers walked out of the Lawrence, Massachusetts mills on January 12, 1912, calling “short pay, all out,” their strike was later called the Bread and Roses strike. Though Congressional Committee investigated food budgets of the strikers and found that the 32 cents the owners had docked their pay (because of legislation reducing hours) was abo...
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Worcester, MA, a middle sized regional city in transition from a manufacturing to a service industry base, has been a home to immigrants since the late 19th Century. In the past Irish, Swedish, Armenian, and Italian immigrants followed the English settlers into the heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Later came Puerto Rican and Central Amer...
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The global sweatshop has emerged from the integration of super-exploited labor in the Global South with the brands and retailers of the Global North. Beginning in the 1960s, apparel industry production migrated away from the high-wage nations. This trend is linked with the more general globalization of manufacturing, and is accelerated by the immen...
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As the nation debates once again proposals to guarantee health insurance for everyone, a new biography of Frances Perkins reminds us of just how long the argument has been going on. In 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt offered Perkins the job of secretary of labor, she proposed an agenda that was to become the backbone of the New Deal: unemployment ins...
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The aim of this paper is to show that the "Massachusetts miracle' is based on services sector job growth rather than on the manufacturing-based industrial policy to which it is usually attributed, and to argue that in the new situation of very low levels of unemployment the priority is for an employment policy directed at the needs of low-paid serv...
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Relates the devastation of Detroit's economic base to its changing significance for car production and the way in which the globalization of private capital has allowed firms like General Motors and Fords to free themselves from particular local ties. Outlines capitalism as understood by the major theorists of monopoly capitalism. Evaluates their c...
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An inspiring if flawed documentary, Made in L.A. follows three Los Angeles sweatshop workers as their lawsuit against a low-price retail label and the community campaign to support them developed from 2001 through 2004. Enthusiastically received by critics and activists in 2007 when it was broadcast on PBS’s P.O.V. series, the film received even...
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Starting in the late 1970s, investigative journalists noticed what they understood as the reemergence of extreme exploitation of laborers in the domestic United States apparel industry (e.g., Buck 1979). Academic studies of the issue began to appear in the early 1980s (Ross and Trachte 1983). But two challenges confront the idea that sweatshops are...
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:This thanksgiving 2006 will witness the anniversary almost to the day ninety-seven years ago, when the immigrant shopgirls of New York's shirtwaist factories called a general strike. This past April, and then on May Day, immigrant workers, 120 years after the first strike movement for the eight-hour day (May Day, 1886), asserted their claim to jus...
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College-based U.S. anti-sweatshop activists led two solidarity campaigns challenging the proposition that global capitalism and capital mobil- ity necessarily subvert local victories of workers and their unions. Critical to working-class advances are worker self defense, alliance with reformers, and positive governmental policy, but, in two cases,...
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Journal of Social History 38.4 (2005) 1105-1108 There were an estimated 250,000 garment workers in the U.S. in 2000 whose employers failed to pay the minimum wage or did not pay them an overtime premium, and whose shops were physically dangerous or unhealthy. Using the formal definitions of the U.S. Government these sites of "multiple labor law vio...
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Social Forces 83.4 (2005) 1791-1792 Imagine a study of a crime wave. In a random survey of 67 potential places where people might be victimized, in 56 percent of the places, people have suffered losses by theft. The annualized total thefts for this random sample are close to $610,000. The data for this reviewer's thought experiment are taken from J...
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"A brilliant and beautiful book, the mature work of a lifetime, must reading for students of the globalization debate." ---Tom Hayden "Slaves to Fashion is a remarkable achievement, several books in one: a gripping history of sweatshops, explaining their decline, fall, and return; a study of how the media portray them; an analysis of the fortunes o...
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Linking trade concessions to compliance with internationally recognised labour standards is referred to as a ‘social clause’. The social clause is usually depicted as causing division between the (rich) global North and the less-industrialised global South. This article shows, however, that there is diversity of opinion among the labour movements o...
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This paper updates an earlier quantitative cross-national study (London and Ross 1995) by examining a more recent time period and re-specifying the original model in a number of significant ways. These include the incorporation of measures of (a) International Monetary Fund penetration into non-core nations (demonstrating that IMF conditionality in...
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Competition in the production of export goods is depressing workers' wages in the countries of the South. Future trade deals must give labor rights their due.
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Les AA. evaluent l'influence de Mills sur une mouvance de la nouvelle gauche americaine des annees soixante : les Etudiants pour une societe democratique (SDS). Ils mettent en evidence l'importance de Mills sur des notions-cles comme la democratie participative, l'organisation des communautes de base, et le socialisme americain. Ils soulignent egal...
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Theory and research in sociology and political economy have revealed important elements of the structure of world capitalism, but its dynamics remain both more controversial and more opaque. This study uses quantitative cross-national regression analysis to analyze the determi nants of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which originates in core (Organ...
Book
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The closing years of the 20th century will be remembered as a time of tumultuous change. The various essays are attempts to understand the changes and ground them in the context of the logic of the contemporary world-system. The essays are divided into two main themes: structural transformations and regional ramifications of global transformations....
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Technical risk analysis accomplishes the activities of risk identification, risk assessment and risk management by the use of scientific rationality. As an ac tivity of the political state, it also plays a role in managing the state's legitimacy problems. Critical theory can locate these two aspects of technical risk analysis in the context of a so...
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Can old industrial regions be economically transformed? This paper looks at the case of the Massachusetts "miracle', examining the sources and consequences of regional economic change in the last decade. We conclude that employment growth occurred primarily in service sector jobs rather than manufacturing, and that factors resulting from the histor...
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'Global capitalism' refers to a newly-dominant form of capitalism characterized by multi-national corporations. Capital mobility is a chief instrument in struggles with organised labour, and in this process, state structures and policies both reflect and enhance capital's new powers. Focuses on public policies which reflect and contribute to the re...
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The process model of professions enables the observer to build internal conflict and change into an analysis of a given profession. An analysis of a new specialty in city planning—advocate planning—suggests that this model be extended so that social movements are seen to enter a profession through the creation of new specialties or segments. By sho...
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Out of the concept of community control has emerged the notion of advocate professionals responsible not to established agencies and institutions but to the community. But with power and wealth highly centralized it is unlikely that neighborhood control is sufficient to influence or attain significant resources. What is needed is a national network...
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Thesis--University of Chicago. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 250-261). Microfilm. Chicago : Joseph Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago, [1976?] 1 reel ; 35 mm.

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