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Current research

General Electric Schenectady Works c.1907
(Library of Congress 2007661113)

This project is a book-length case study of shifting employment relations at the General Electric Company during the postwar and postindustrial periods, set within a wider context of business political mobilization to challenge labor rights.

Social scientists often underestimate the role of ideas in generating inequalities because they disregard organizational contexts, take norms and institutions for granted, or assume that all ideas are created equally. This project traces the way GE and its corporate allies deployed ideas in specific organizational contexts to redistribute resources within firms and shift norms that govern the wider field of corporate practices. In documenting this story of business political mobilization to deregulate employment, the project challenges dominant narratives of contemporary inequality being rooted in new technologies, globalization, and the macroeconomic crises of the 1970s, and directs attention instead toward the actors who shaped our nation’s regulatory response to those challenges.

General Electric – Mural (Rockwell Kent), New York World’s Fair 1939-1940 (NYPL)