Co-Sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and the Labor and Working Class History Association
Friday, December 9, 2005, 3:00-5:00pm
The Newberry Library
Bethany Moreton, Yale University
Commentators: Dorian Warren, University of Chicago and Tom Geoghagen
If Wal-Mart is the economic heir to Ford and General Motors, why do labor historians still know far more about radical auto workers in Detroit than Christian retail clerks from Arkansas? After the high tide of industrial unionism, this paper argues, the post-war service sector took root among a different consituency, largely farm-dwellers who encountered the punch card without an earlier experience of the assembly line. Where craft pride and male solidarity had animated producerism, Wal-Mart employees developed a new workplace ethos from the familial rural work cultures and the Christian valorization of service. Drawing on years of field work among longtime Wal-Mart employees. this work in progress takes an intimate look at life inside the world's largest company.
All papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Ginger Shulick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312.255.3524.
ONLY PAPER COPIES OF THIS PAPER WILL BE CIRCULATED, PER THE SCHOLARS REQUEST
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