Labour Geography II, Session 2: Theorizing labor, questioning the future of work

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group, Queer and Trans Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Plaza Court 1, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Organizers: Kendra Strauss, Suzanne Mills, David Jordhus-Lier
Chairs: Steven Tufts


Organizers: Steven Tufts (York University), Suzanne Mills (McMaster University), Kendra Strauss (Simon Fraser University), Michelle Buckley (University of Toronto) and David Jordhus-Lier (University of Oslo)

The aim of this session is to present and explore recent contributions to the theorization of labor in human geography. Over the course of the last twenty years, geographic research on work experiences, labor market restructuring and workers' collective action has helped us better understand the agency of working people in global landscapes of capitalism. This has included an interrogation of the concept of agency itself, including in the context of heightened xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia, and in relation to conjunctural social, economic and ecological crises.

By inviting submissions that apply theoretical rigor to empirical investigations of working life and its politics, we aim to take stock of how human geography theorizes labor and labor agency, as well as exploring emergent phenomena that might challenge this conceptual development, including:
- automation, digitalized workplaces and online worker politics
- feminist approaches to empowerment in the workplace
- greening work and the role of organized labour under a climate crisis
- labor mobilization and the far-right
- labour and racial(ized) capitalism
- labour, work and social reproduction
- organized labor and transit futures
- platform workers and organizing
- political ecologies and more-than-human labour
- the politics of labor migrants and labor migration
- urban politics and labour
- precarity and low-wage work
- local and regional differences in labour struggles and their articulations


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter David Jordhus-Lier*, University of Oslo, Alienation, shame and shared responsibility: Investigating labour agency in the Norwegian petroleum industry 15 3:20 PM
Presenter Heejin Choi*, Center for Asian Urban Societies, Seoul National University, Occupy the Highway! Tollgate Workers’ Flexibility and Urban Infrastructure in South Korea 15 3:35 PM
Presenter Sarah Cibart*, Simon Fraser University, Queering the Canadian Labour Movement: Empowerment in the Strength of Social Movement Unionism 15 3:50 PM
Presenter Suzanne Mills*, McMaster University, Gender identity, sexual orientation and worker agency in non-metropolitan cities. 15 4:05 PM
Presenter Lia Frederiksen*, University of Toronto, Feminist Economic Geography and the Future of Work 15 4:20 PM

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