Labor, Class, and Economic Policy Studies

These themes, so well developed during Michael Zweig’s years of leadership of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life, will remain a bedrock focus of our activities. Scholarly projects and collaborations in this area will unite the interests and insights of economist and policy expert Stephanie Kelton, coming to Stony Brook in fall 2017 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with those of historians concentrating on work and workers (including Christopher Sellers and Lori Flores) along with other interested Stony Brook faculty.  As Director, Christopher Sellers is especially interested to foster discussions about the relationships between newer scholarship and findings on income and wealth inequality and other more established literatures on the making and experiences of class. Stephanie Kelton, whose experience in policy circles includes stints advising the minority party in the Senate Budget Committee as well as the Bernie Sanders campaign, brings in considerable expertise on how monetary and macroeconomic policy can effect inequalities.

We will continue our sponsorship of the WCSA conference, by hosting it June 6-9, 2018.  We're also working on outreach efforts and collaborations with labor unions and other civic groups on Long Island. One CWCS event modeling the kind of outreach we’re hoping to continue was a well-attended visit in 2015 of Rev. William J. Barber, North Carolina NAACP president and founder of the Moral Monday Movement.  This academic year 2017-18, the lines of communication thereby established with many Long Island community organizations and activists are providing a springboard for new pilot collaborations exploring, highlighting, and addressing economic inequalities in the region and their ties to other inequities.

Working Class Studies Association

Website of the Working-Class Studies Association

The association was formed in 2003 to promote the study of working-class people and their culture.   They consist of academics, activists, teachers, writers, poets, journalists, practitioners, students, artists and a wide range of others interested in developing the field of working-class studies.  Stony Brook University faculty including economist Michael Zweig were instrumental in its formation, and Stony Brook has hosted WCSA conferences biennially, including 2016 and 2018.   

Related Publications

Working Class Perspectives: Commentary on Working-Class Culture, Education, and Politics

A blog sponsored by Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor 

Journal of Working-Class Studies

A journal begun in 2016 by the Working-Class Studies Association. 

Photo Credits: Credit: Ethan, SportSuburban, Flickr via Creative Commons; USDAgov/Flickr/Creative Commons;  Dorret/flickr/cc