ILR Review
January 2016; Vol. 69, No. 1

Table of Contents


Harmonious Unions and Rebellious Workers: A Study of Wildcat Strikes in Vietnam
Mark Anner and Xiangmin Liu

The authors examine enterprise-level antecedents of wildcat strikes in Vietnam using a national representative sample of foreign-invested enterprises over the period 2010 to 2012, coding of factory audits, and field research. They predict that these unauthorized, semi-spontaneous work stoppages are more common among unionized workplaces, because the presence of a union in the workplace signals to workers that by engaging in a wildcat strike, they may be able to activate the representation and protection role of official trade unions. That is, workers can in some cases push unions from below to act on their behalf. In addition, wholly foreign-owned enterprises, investments by Asian-owned firms, and manufacturing operations in industrial zones are associated with more strikes than are joint ventures with state-owned and private enterprises, firms owned by Western investors, and firms in higher-value-added activities. Statistical results and field research provide strong support for these predictions. These findings suggest that the role of trade unions in socialist states may be more nuanced than previously assumed. At the same time, they reinforce the observation in the literature that Vietnamese employment relations institutions are unable, in and of themselves, to address worker grievances.

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Conference Call for Papers

Freedom and Control of Expression
In the Digital Aftermath of the 2015 French Attacks
October 13 & 14, 2016
Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), Toulouse, France.

After the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices were attacked in January 2015, debate and discussion flourished about freedom of expression, in France and abroad. This debate intensified after the Paris attacks of November 13th. At the epicenter is the role of the Internet and free speech. An enormous wave of worldwide indignation expressed itself after both events, including a deluge of hashtag solidarity. But this social media storm eventually revealed cultural, political and social divides inside France, as well as globally. Much like after the 9/11 attacks, France passed laws allowing state surveillance of online communication. At the same time, social media censored posts about the attacks that were considered to be provocative or shocking.

The variety of reactions, including indifference or, on the contrary, the expression of very different points of view – sometimes even surveilled or censored – showed that one hashtag is neither unifying nor a universal view shared by everyone.  This event magnified the notion that the digital public sphere is a conflicting arena of not just what is being said (or kept quiet) online but also what the limits are. Undoubtedly, the Internet is the main means of massive public expression for millions. Yet it is still the result of a complex set of power relations established between professional media, amateur content producing communities, which sometimes defend particular interests, as well as corporate intermediaries. The resulting online content embodies rival editorial, political and industrial strategies. Recently, scholars have begun to question the idea of digital participatory democracy in terms of a level playing field.

This workshop aims to progress this debate by addressing the following central question:

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The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced, invites applications from exceptional scholars for a faculty position in Sociology at the Assistant Professor level (tenure-track).

The committee is interested in applicants whose research will contribute to the department’s existing strengths in social inequality (race, class, gender and sexuality), social institutions (e.g., education, health), and politics (social movements, public policy); and who have an excellent record of publication. Preference will be given to those who have the ability to teach graduate statistics. In addition, the committee is interested in applicants with a history of and/or commitment to mentoring students from underrepresented groups. UC Merced is building a dynamic and high-quality Sociology faculty and seeks an outstanding scholar to assist with training graduate students in our new PhD program.

For the full ad and more information, go to:

Call for Papers

The New Economy

ASA pre-conference hosted by the Economic Sociology Section

Economic Sociology Section of the ASA is pleased to announce a one-day conference on The New Economy to be held on August 19, 2016 at the University of Washington, Seattle.

The crises of late-stage capitalism has led to a series of crises, including global threats to sustainability, security and democracy. It has also created technologies and opportunities that are giving rise to new forms of organization, new systems of work, new markets, new global flows of people, new goods and capital, and new institutional and cultural frameworks. These macro-level changes, in turn, result in profound transformations of social life at the microlevel: new social identities, new forms of adaption, and the new sites of struggle and resistance. The city of Seattle is a particularly fertile ground for addressing these concerns, given its rich and important history of innovation, labor movements and its position as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.

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EPIC, an international network of scholars and practitioners advancing ethnographic & social science approaches to industry & organizations, extends a call for participation to its annual conference, EPIC2016.  OOW members may be particularly interested in the paper track “Organizations & Change”.

EPIC2016 Call for Participation:

Organizations & Change Paper Track:

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“Can Comparative Historical Sociology Save the World?”

Mini-Conference of the Comparative Historical Sociology Section

Friday, August 19, 2016

Seattle, Washington

The Comparative Historical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association and the Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS) program at Northwestern University are pleased to announce a mini-conference entitled “Can Comparative Historical Sociology Save the World?” The conference will take place August 19th, 2016 at the University of Washington, in Seattle.

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