Broke and Brokered in the Day Labor Business
Gretchen Wren Purser, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Fellow, SAR
Colloquium, SAR Boardroom
Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free
Day labor agencies—colloquially referred to as labor pools or body shops—exemplify several of the most consequential features of the neoliberal landscape of employment, including the spread of precarious work and the increased role of labor market intermediaries. Drawing upon extensive interviews and years of participant observation working as a day laborer amidst a predominantly homeless, formerly incarcerated African-American workforce in Oakland, California, and Baltimore, Maryland, this presentation focuses on workers’ experience of being “broke and brokered” at the bottom of the labor market.