Breaks in the chain: What immigrant workers can teach American about democracy


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

It’s not often that an academic book crosses the theory/practice divide to inform both in the ways that Paul Apostolidis’s Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers can Teach America about Democracy does. As an organizer for Arise Chicago Workers’ Center and a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, it’s an especially rare and welcome instance when this kind of work focuses on the description and analysis of resistance to the current political, social, cultural and economic structures that exclude immigrant workers from full participation in a well-regulated, humane labor market and democratic politics. Although activists, organizers and other participants in the struggle for workers’ rights and justice for immigrants may initially be daunted by deeply theoretical discussions of items such as Gramscian notions of hegemony and Foucaldian biopolitics, the insights and claims of this critical ethnography, which documents and analyses narratives of immigrant workers who were part of a workplace struggle in Eastern Washington, are important for more reflective and reflexive practice.

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