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Tag Archives: Sex Work






Next up? GUTS talks about sex in issue 3

Conceptions of bodies, sexuality, and desire have been rallying points for feminist activism, research, and advocacy in different historical moments. Looking back to the 1970s, advocates of the Canadian women’s movement made courageous and influential efforts to secure safe access to abortion clinics, to establish supportive women’s shelters and rape crisis centres, and to better understand women’s reproductive and sexual health. The effects of this movement on Canadian society are undeniable. Take, for example, the Abortion Caravan (1969-70), a national feminist protest that mobilized over 500 activists from all over the country to demand that the government amend its abortion policy. Although abortion was not removed from Canada’s criminal code until 1988, the Caravan brought women’s reproductive rights to the forefront of the country’s consciousness. Coinciding with the Western world’s sexual liberation movement, second wave feminism in Canada made space for conversations about women’s sexuality beyond the bedroom.

Despite clear advances made by early forms of feminist organizing and advocacy in Canada, female and queer bodies remain contested terrain in government social policy:provincially funded abortions are increasingly inaccessiblesex workers face anti-prostitution legislation, and women’s shelters, rape crisis centres, and women’s rights advocacy groups are invariably strapped for cash. All-too-frequent instances of sexual objectification of and violence against women today indicate that sex remains relevant to feminist analysis. And yet, despite the importance of sex to feminism in popular sex-positive discourses, women’s struggles are too often configured as isolated matters, rather than symptoms of a larger patriarchal structure.

For this issue, we set out to demystify sexuality while attending to the ways sexual liberation has evolved into a new brand of feminism that promotes sex as a means of achieving selfhood and financial independence. Pop-feminist discussions of sexuality are too often reduced to a crude consumerist notion of individuality, measured by one’s purchasing power and an ability to sleep with whomever one wants. Although sex positivism once provided a clear avenue toward instituting social and political change, its contemporary manifestation in today’s fabulous, independent, sexually liberated feminist icons only serves to conceal gendered and racialized forms of oppression that continue to inform our daily realities.

Our sex issue invites contributors to recover the politics of bodies, sexuality, and desire.

Potential topics for submissions might include:

  • Abortion and reproductive rights
  • Critiques of monogamy
  • Non-heteronormative sexuality and love
  • The romanticization of two-spirited sexuality
  • Asexuality
  • Polyamorous culture
  • Sex-work activism in Canada
  • The contemporary anti-porn movement
  • Feminist porn (does it exist?)
  • Rape culture, consent, and sexual violence
  • Violence against and the disappearance of Indigenous women
  • Online dating and post-physical relationships
  • Disability and sex
  • Beauty, consumerism, and self-marketing in a neoliberal economy
  • Erotic fanfiction and feminine forms of escape


Submission Guidelines:

GUTS accepts personal and journalistic essays; poetry and fiction; reviews of books, TV, music, and film; creative interviews and conversations. GUTS also accepts images and videos relevant to our theme.

Please submit a short proposal (150-300 words) describing your project no later than July 15, 2014 to

Final submissions (500-4000 words) will be due on September 1, 2014.

For further information about the submission guidelines, please email us at




GUTS Call for Papers:




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Call for Papers

Work and Compulsion: Coerced Labour in Domestic, Service, Agricultural, Factory and Sex Work, ca. 1850-2000s

The International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH), Austria, announces the 50th Linz Conference, 25-28 Sept. 2014.

Preparatory group:

Prof. em. Dirk Hoerder (Salzburg, Austria)
Prof. Marcel van der Linden (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam)
Dr. Magaly Rodríguez García (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Dr. Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (Wageningen University)
For the ITH: Univ.-Doz. Dr. Berthold Unfried (Institute of Economic and Social History, University of Vienna), Mag. Eva Himmelstoss


The conference focuses on the exploitation of human labour in the range of forced labour and debt bondage, which contrary to chattel slavery, have received little scholarly attention. In spite of the gradual abolition of slavery (understood as the legal ownership of humans) in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, other forms of coerced labour persisted in most regions of the world. Indeed, while most nations increasingly condemned the maintenance of slavery and slave trade, they tolerated labour relationships that involved violent control, economic exploitation through the appropriation of labour power, restriction of workers’ freedom of movement and fraudulent debt obligations. Hence the conference deals with historical situations of coerced labour worldwide.

The aims of this conference are five-fold:

 1.  To write a global and comparative history of the political-institutional and gender structures, the economics of and working conditions within coerced labour, as well as the evolution of forced labour (internal or cross-border) migration of male and female workers and the role played by intermediaries. In short, the whole praxis of coerced labour in colonized segments of the world, core countries, post-imperial states, new industrial economies and other low-income countries.
 2.  To problematize (the increasing) forced labour and labour mobility in colonial territories, in Africa and Asia in particular, and to relate them to developments in intra-European labour regulation and regimentation and to the expansion of North Atlantic capital across the world.
 3.  To deal with the twentieth-century forms of coerced labour, whether through confinement to labour camps or debt bondage of individual production and service workers to creditors (for the costs of the voyage) or to individual employers (for the duration of their stay).
 4.  To question whether the application of the forced-labour model to systemic employer-employee relations under constraining circumstances is justified, or whether the ILO’s differentiation between forced labour and sub-standard or exploitative working conditions can/should be maintained. These issues are related to the naming and conceptualization of “force”, “coercion” and “consent”, as well as to the utility of the notions of “human trafficking” and “modern-day slavery”.
 5.  To explore the experiences and aspects of human agency or resistance by forced/bonded workers, organizing initiatives and the silence or activity of non-state actors such as trade unions and NGOs.

Programme structure and themes


 1.  Agency of men and women under coercion.
 2.  A historical overview of the definitions of “slavery”, “forced labour”, “trafficking” and “modern slavery”, and their evolution within the realm of international governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Section I – Coerced labour in the colonial and non-colonial world (ca. 1850-1940):
Working conditions, employee-employer relationships and migration patterns (who was transported in which direction) within systems of indentured labour, debt bondage, peonage, servitude, compulsory labour and so on. Examples are the twentieth-century credit-ticket migrations from Southern China; the British (and other) empire-imposed indentured labour involving long-distance migration in the macro-regions of the Indian Ocean and the Plantation Belt from the 1830s to the 1930s; European forced-labour regimes imposed on men, women and children within particular colonies; forced labour migration from the colonies to Europe during the First World War (the so-called “colonial auxiliaries”); and forms of involuntary (child) servitude in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States.

Section II – Politically imposed labour on home territories: The labour relations, working conditions and agency of workers sent to concentration camps, remote labour colonies or industrial camps under Fascism or Stalinism, in Japan during the Second World War, as prisoners or under peonage in the (southern) United States, in communist China, in Cuba, or as persecuted minorities like the Roma as well as, in the present, use of forced labour from political and other prisoners from dictatorial or authoritarian regimes by Western companies, require further study.

Section III – Coerced labour since the end of the Second World War: The phenomenon of coerced labour – often called “modern slavery” since the last decades – concerns questions of global divisions of labour, economic, gender and racial inequality. While numbers and definitions are contested by academic, UN and ILO experts, official and unofficial data range from 17 to 27 million women, men and children worldwide. This section aims to include papers with empirical information on the extent to which debt, power relationships and poverty lead to the virtual “enslavement” of people through systematic recruitment by means of intimidation or threat of violence, aggressive control by labour intermediaries such as “coyotes”, “snakes” or procurers, and/or brutal enforcement of debt collection after arrival. The experiences and resistance strategies of the workers concerned will be fundamental to better understand the degree of labour constraints and/or the consent to so-called “3D jobs” (dirty, dangerous and demeaning).

Concluding discussion:
General debate on the accuracy of the current definitions used by state and non-state actors, the impact that new research can have on policies and the development or adjustment of analytical methods that can further the knowledge of coerced labour from past and present.

Call for Papers

Proposed papers need to address the conference topics mentioned above in section I, II or III and should include:

 *   An abstract (max. 300 words)
 *   The targeted thematic section
 *   A biographical note (max. 200 words)
 *   Full address and email-address

Sessions will be reserved for ongoing research on the level of doctoral dissertations and of postdoctoral research (depending on high-quality abstracts being submitted).
A special effort will be made to include paper presenters from all regions of the world and both senior and beginning researchers. The conference language will be English.

The organizers will not be able to reimburse costs for travel or hotel accommodation. However, we will establish a limited fund to which scholars with insufficient means of their own may write a motivated application for (partial) reimbursement of travel costs. Grants will be contingent on sufficient funding.

The conference fee includes accommodation (in shared double rooms provided by the ITH) and meals. Participants taking responsibility for their own accommodation will pay a reduced fee.

Proposals to be sent to Magaly Rodríguez García:

Time schedule:

Deadline for submission of proposals: 1 November 2013
Notification of acceptance: 1 December 2013
Deadline for full papers: 1 August 2014

A publication of selected conference papers is planned; final manuscripts due 1 April 2015.


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Feminisms and Marxisms: Connecting Struggles, Rethinking Limits
Call for Papers within the framework of the 10th Historical Materialism Conference, Making the World Working Class.
7-10 November 2013, London, SOAS.
Deadline: May 21

Abstracts for papers and panels should uploaded to:


Our present poses enormous political and analytical challenges to those committed to the struggle against the oppression and exploitation of women. It demands the creation of spaces for the development of an oppositional culture able to confront new forms of domination, rethink its own assumptions and foster serious political responses. One year ago Historical Materialism launched a call for papers on Feminisms and Marxisms with the aim to provide a space for a dialogue between Feminist and Marxist critiques of capitalism in their various articulations. The response to the call went beyond our most optimistic expectations, demonstrating the vitality and wealth of new research inspired by Marxist-Feminist approaches.

This call aims to build on last year’s discussions, giving voice to a new generation of anti-capitalist feminists and continuing a collective reflection about how Feminisms and Marxisms can together contribute to criticising and transforming the present. At this year’s conference, we aim to think beyond the issue of the compatibilities or tensions between Feminism and Marxism as separate traditions, and explore the way in which they provide the tools to intervene in contemporary debates about labour, oppression and power. We also hope to foster new approaches to old debates, from social reproduction to patriarchy, and advance the understanding of the historic limits and contemporary potentials of Marxist-Feminist theorisations of capitalism.

We welcome papers that address (but are not confined to) the following themes:
Marxist-Feminism in the 21st century
Social Reproduction Feminism and Intersectionality Theory
The Political Economy of Sex Work and Sex Workers’ Struggles
Class/Gender Intersections: Masculinities, LGBTQ, Queer Studies and Trans Politics.
Homophobia and Heteronormativity
Gendered Labour Exploitation
Feminist and Marxist critiques of Racism and Islamophobia
Marxist Feminism and Materialist Feminism
Securitization and Carceral Detention
Theories of Sexuality, Bodies, Embodiment
Feminisms, Marxisms and Art Theory
Gender, International Migration and the Political Economy of Care
Feminist-Marxist Critique of Sexual Violence
Diaspora, Indigeneity, and Solidarity in Marxisms and Feminisms
Inclusive Theories of Class and Resistance
Marxist-Feminist critiques of historical and 21st-century fascism
Feminism and Autonomist Marxism: Understanding the legacy
Marxism and Feminist economics

We welcome and encourage people to submit panel proposals. When you do so, please send an abstract of the general theme of the panel together with the abstracts of the individual papers in the panel. For individual paper proposals, it is helpful, although it is not necessary, to indicate the theme (above) to which your paper could contribute. This will help us to compose the panels.


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Revolution at Point Zero


Book Launch

Silvia Federici launches Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle.

12 November, 6pm, LG02, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths University, Lewisham Way, SE14 6NW, near New Cross station.


Written between 1974 and the present, Revolution at Point Zero collects forty years of research and theorizing on the nature of housework, social reproduction, and women’s struggles on this terrain—to escape it, to better its conditions, to reconstruct it in ways that provide an alternative to capitalist relations.

Indeed, as Federici reveals, behind the capitalist organization of work and the contradictions inherent in “alienated labor” is an explosive ground zero for revolutionary practice upon which are decided the daily realities of our collective reproduction.

Beginning with Federici’s organizational work in the Wages for Housework movement, the essays collected here unravel the power and politics of wide but related issues including the international restructuring of reproductive work and its effects on the sexual division of labor, the globalization of care work and sex work, the crisis of elder care, the development of affective labor, and the politics of the commons.


“Finally we have a volume that collects the many essays that over a period of four decades Silvia Federici has written on the question of social reproduction and women’s struggles on this terrain. While providing a powerful history of the changes in the organization of reproductive labor, Revolution at Point Zero documents the development of Federici’s thought on some of the most important questions of our time: globalization, gender relations, the construction of new commons.”
Mariarosa Dalla Costa, coauthor of The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community and Our Mother Ocean

“As the academy colonizes and tames women’s studies, Silvia Federici speaks the experience of a generation of women for whom politics was raw, passionately lived, often in the shadow of an uncritical Marxism. She spells out the subtle violence of housework and sexual servicing, the futility of equating waged work with emancipation, and the ongoing invisibility of women’s reproductive labors. Under neoliberal globalization women’s exploitation intensifies—in land enclosures, in forced migration, in the crisis of elder care. With ecofeminist thinkers and activists, Federici argues that protecting the means of subsistence now becomes the key terrain of struggle, and she calls on women North and South to join hands in building new commons.”
Ariel Salleh, author of Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx, and the Postmodern

“The zero point of revolution is where new social relations first burst forth, from which countless waves ripple outward into other domains. For over thirty years, Silvia Federici has fiercely argued that this zero point cannot have any other location but the sphere of reproduction. It is here that we encounter the most promising battlefield between an outside to capital and a capital that cannot abide by any outsides. This timely collection of her essays reminds us that the shape and form of any revolution are decided in the daily realities and social construction of sex, care, food, love, and health. Women inhabit this zero point neither by choice nor by nature, but simply because they carry the burden of reproduction in a disproportionate manner. Their struggle to take control of this labor is everybody’s struggle, just as capital’s commodification of their demands is everybody’s commodification.”
Massimo De Angelis, author of The Beginning of History: Values, Struggles, and Global Capital

“In her unfailing generosity of mind, Silvia Federici has offered us yet another brilliant and groundbreaking reflection on how capitalism naturalizes the exploitation of every aspect of women’s productive and reproductive life. Federici theorizes convincingly that, whether in the domestic or public sphere, capital normalizes women’s labor as ‘housework’ worthy of no economic compensation or social recognition. Such economic and social normalization of capitalist exploitation of women underlies the gender-based violence produced by the neoliberal wars that are ravaging communities around the world, especially in Africa. The intent of such wars is to keep women off the communal lands they care for, while transforming them into refugees in nation-states weakened by the negative effects of neoliberalism. Silvia Federici’s call for ecofeminists’ return to the Commons against Capital is compelling. Revolution at Point Zero is a timely release and a must read for scholars and activists concerned with the condition of women around the world.”
Ousseina D. Alidou, Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa (CAFA), Director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers University and author of Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger

About Silvia Federici:

Silvia Federici is a feminist writer, teacher, and militant. In 1972, she was cofounder of the International Feminist Collective, which launched the Wages for Housework campaign internationally. With other members of Wages for Housework, like Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James, and with feminist authors like Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Federici has been instrumental in developing the concept of “reproduction” as a key to class relations of exploitation and domination in local and global contexts, and as central to forms of autonomy and the commons.

In the 1990s, after a period of teaching and research in Nigeria, she was active in the anti-globalization movement and the U.S. anti-death penalty movement. She is one of the co-founders of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, an organization dedicated to generating support for the struggles of students and teachers in Africa against the structural adjustment of African economies and education systems. From 1987 to 2005, she also taught international studies, women’s studies, and political philosophy courses at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

Her decades of research and political organizing accompanies a long list of publications on philosophy and feminist theory, women’s history, education, culture, international politics, and more recently on the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalization and for a feminist reconstruction of the commons. Her steadfast commitment to these issues resounds in her focus on autonomy and her emphasis on the power of what she calls self-reproducing movements as a challenge to capitalism through the construction of new social relations.

Product Details:

Author: Silvia Federici
Publisher: PM Press/Common Notions/Autonomedia
ISBN: 978-1-60486-333-8
Published September 2012
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 by 5
Page count: 208 Pages
Subjects: Women’s Studies/Politics/Sociology

Revolution at Point Zero at PM Press:




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Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab

Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab


Call for Papers: In the framework of the 9th Historical Materialism Conference, ‘Weighs like A Nightmare’, SOAS, Central London, 8-11 November 2012

Feminisms and Marxisms 

A new generation of anti-capitalist feminists has emerged in the last years across the world. Although not without tensions and disagreements, these new feminist currents have been in constant dialogue with different traditions of Marxism and the Marxist critique of political economy in areas ranging from social science, philosophy to art history. With the aim of providing a space for this dialogue, the 9th Historical Materialism conference inLondonwelcomes presentations exploring the synergies between the feminist and the Marxist critiques of capitalism in their various articulations. 

Paper proposals (between 200 and 300 words) should be submitted by registering at: BEFORE 10 May 2012. Submissions will be peer reviewed. Please be aware that the conference is self-funded therefore we are unable to help with travel and accommodation costs.

Themes of particular interest for the conference include:

      Marxist and Socialist feminism in the 21st century

      The critique of the political economy of sex work

      Autonomia and Feminism: A legacy?

      Intersectionality theory and Marxism

      Feminist and Marxist critiques of liberal feminism

      Queer studies, LGBTQ and Marxism

      Feminist and Marxist critiques of gendered labour exploitation

      Feminist and Marxist critiques of racism and Islamophobia

      The political economy of gender and carceral detention

      Feminism, Marxism and art theory

      Women’s collectives and the contemporary art world

      Feminist, Marxism and the visual cultures of globalisation

      Gendered international migrations

      Commodification of care

      Social reproduction

Please note that the following donations are requested in support of conference costs:

£50 waged/15 unwaged on pre-registration
£75 waged / 25 unwaged at the door


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Call for Papers

BSA Ageing Body and Society Study Group Conference: Body Work in Health and Social Care

British Library Conference Centre,London

Tuesday 6th September 2011

Supported by the SHI Foundation and the British Library.


This day conference seeks to extend and deepen interest in the concept of ‘body work’ – understood here as work focusing on the bodies of others, typically undertaken in a paid context. As such it is a component in a range of occupations in health and social care, and beyond. We invite abstracts for papers that address the relevance of ‘body work’ to the sociology of health, illness and care, and to policy debates in these areas. Research on body work and ageing, including the experience of both providers and recipients of body work, is particularly welcome. We are also keen to include papers that draw comparisons with other areas of work such as personal services like hairdressing or sex work. Papers addressing methodological issues in studying body work (including, for instance, ethical questions, or the use of visual representations) are also welcome.

Topics of interest include:

  • The transformation and discipline of the body through health, care, and death work
  • The role of gender, class and racialisation on constructions of body work and body work interactions
  • The temporal and spatial organization of body work
  • Recruitment and training for body work and the embodied practitioner
  • Emotion, touch and reflexivity
  • Power, intimacy, and vulnerability
  • Dirty work and abjection
  • Formal and informal resistance by practitioners or patients or clients
  • The political economy of body work provision and its transformation over time

The Conference is organised by the BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group and supported by the Sociology of Health and Illness Foundation. It marks the publication of the recent Special Issue of Sociology of Health and Illness and the forthcoming monograph Body Work in Health and Social Care.  see (

Co-ordinators: Professor Julia Twigg (Kent), Dr Carol Wolkowitz (Warwick), Dr Rachel Cohen (Surrey) Dr Sarah Nettleton (York), and Dr Wendy Martin (Brunel).

Abstracts for papers and posters: max 250 words should be submitted by 27 June 2011 online at Acceptance confirmation by 12 July. Programme online from 22 July.

Registration:  £45 BSA members, £85 non-members, £35 postgraduates. Fee includes buffet lunch, refreshments and wine reception in the early evening. Online registration at For further information email

Join the Ageing, Body and Society Study Group: The group organises seminars, workshops conferences and other events. New members, including students, welcome. Information on how to join:


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Socialism and Hope



The student revolt and the crisis

Mad as hatters? The Tea Party movement in the US
Megan Trudell

Police killings and the law
Simon Behrman

Labourism and socialism: Ralph Miliband’s Marxism
Paul Blackledge

True crime stories: some New Labour memoirs
John Newsinger

Marxism and disability
Roddy Slorach

Decoding capitalism
Joseph Choonara

What’s wrong with school history?
Andrew Stone

Why we should be sceptical of climate sceptics
Suzanne Jeffery

Tony Cliff’s Lenin and the Russian Revolution
John Rose


Sex work: a rejoinder
Gareth Dale and Xanthe Whittaker

Discussing the alternatives
Grace Lally

Book reviews

A tangled tale
Yuri Prasad

Revolution rewritten
Jack Farmer

Analysing honour
Mark Harvey

Globalising Gramsci
Adrian Budd

Intellectual weapons
Alex Callinicos

Pick of the quarter

This quarter’s selection

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No Future




January: Marketing in Non-Profit and other Social Purpose Organizations with Sharon Wood and Trish Krauss, The Belmont Group

Friday, January 28, 2011
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Room 5-240
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto (St. George subway station)

Cost: $140 + HST. Each additional participant from the same organization will receive a $15 discount, as will those who register for more than one workshop. Student rate available.
Refreshments, coffee & tea served,  but lunch not provided.

To Register:  Access the online registration form at, or contact Lisa White at, or 416-978-0022


January 7, 2011
7:30 – 9:30pm
Centre of Gravity
1300 Gerrard St. East, Toronto

You are invited to a free screening of the film, ‘Why We Fight’ – which deals with the concept and escalation of the ‘military-industrial complex,’ generally, and that phenomenon in the U.S. more particularly.

Helping us through discussions of issues associated with this film will be Dr. Peter Langille, PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, Advisor to the UN and other governments about issues of international peacekeeping. Dr. Langille also has authored several books, including Changing the Guard: Canada’s Defence in a World in Transition.



January 29 – 30
Ryerson Student Centre – Oakham House
63 Gould Street, Toronto

The Labour Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers Assembly (GTWA) is organizing a conference where activists can come together to talk about the attacks on the working-class in every dimension of our lives, reframe the public discussion and launch a united activist network of workers from all sectors, unions and precarious workers, new immigrants and non-unionized workers to mobilize a new kind of working class movement. 

The conference is a chance to come together to build the fight-back we’ve all been waiting for, but which will never happen unless we make it happen. We need a new kind of fighting working-class movement – a movement that builds across workplaces, communities and unions and the non-unionized majority of the working class.

Registrations are now open! Please visit our website for more details and to register:



January 5
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
208N – North House, Munk School, 1 Devonshire Place, University of Toronto

Speaker: Emily van der Meulen (Lupina Post-Doctoral Fellow)

Sponsored by Comparative Program on Health and Society

Register online at:



February 8 – 10, 2011
80 Hayden Street (Bloor and Yonge Streets)

Carleton University and PWRDF are pleased to offer a SAS2 Introductory Workshop.

In the workshop you can expect:

* Three days of hands-on learning using Participatory Action Research
* Tools for group-based inquiry and problem-solving
* Time to work on issues and problems that matter to you
* A chance to appreciate and acquire the skills to adapt SAS2 to your context
* Engaging and fun approaches designed to make SAS2 easy to grasp, and even easier to use.

For more information on the workshop click here:

For information on the SAS2 approach to Participatory Action Research see:




by Richard Wolff,

Recent decades have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, imposing the cost of successive crises on the poorest. Enough!

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by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times

John Steinbeck observed that “a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”

That insight, now confirmed by epidemiological studies, is worth bearing in mind at a time of such polarizing inequality that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess a greater collective net worth than the bottom 90 percent.

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by Ish Theilheimer, Straight Goods

Canada is facing a crisis of seniors’ poverty as millions of Baby Boomers retire from, get forced out of, or simply lose their work. Most privately employed and self-employed Canadians don’t have pensions or adequate savings to retire in security. Adding to the number of seniors in poverty, pensioners from companies like Mitel have seen their pension plans consumed as their companies folded, leaving them with nothing but public benefits.

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Ontario’s university libraries appear to be bearing a sizeable share of the cuts as universities grapple with budget cutbacks. A new report, based on a questionnaire sent to Ontario’s academic librarians, describes widespread staffing reductions, neglect of library collections, and delays in technology investments.

“Ontario’s academic librarians are at the forefront of supporting students and faculty in their research and teaching, tending to extensive collections, and introducing new technology advances to keep up with the demands of the digital world,” said Constance Adamson, an academic librarian at Queen’s University and vice-president of Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

Read more:




Happy new year rabble readers! As we round out another decade, thoughts turn to the future, and our partners at the The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have weighed in on the issues facing Canada in the years ahead. They flag the economy, social unrest, drift, democracy, dirty oil and corporate Canada as things to watch in 2011 and beyond.

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by Jordy Cummings and Patrick D. LeGay, The Bullet

Nearly six months have gone since the G20 Summit in Toronto when we supposedly entered what some have referred to as “permanent austerity” – the “new normal” of capitalist social relations. Whilst using the significant resources of the state to inject liquidity into markets and ensure corporate and banking profits, ruling classes simultaneously are cutting public services across the board, imposing user fees and letting public transit rot, and, in the specific case at hand, kicking labour’s ass while convincing the public bureaucracy that there is no alternative.

Read more:



Changing the Climate: Ecoliberalism, Green New Dealism, and the Struggle Over Green Jobs in Canada
James Patrick Nugent
Labor Studies Journal published 28 December 2010


“The Very Model of Modern Urban Decay”: Outsiders’ Narratives of Industry and Urban Decline in Gary, Indiana
S. Paul O’Hara
Journal of Urban History published 30 December 2010


The Connection Between Latino Ethnic Identity and Adult Experiences
Vasti Torres, Sylvia Martinez, Lisa D. Wallace, Christianne I. Medrano,
Andrea L. Robledo, and Ebelia Hernandez
Adult Education Quarterly published 29 December 2010

Occupations, Human Capital and Skills
Alec Levenson and Cindy Zoghi
Journal of Labor Research
Volume 31, Number 4, 365-386




Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit:

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