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Immigration Seminar Series – Status at Work: Power, Race, and the Law in the Immigrant Workplace by Dr. Shannon Gleeson

Part of the Immigration Seminar Series





If you'd like to participate online, please register here to receive the Zoom link.


Shannon Gleeson is the Edmund Ezra Day Professor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She also holds a co-appointment with the Brooks School of Public Policy and is co-director of the Cornell Migrations Initiative. Gleeson earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California, Berkeley and was previously on the faculty of the Latin American & Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her recent books include Scaling Migrant Worker Rights: How Advocates Collaborate and Contest State Power (with Xóchitl Bada, University of California Press, 2023) and Precarious Claims: The Promise and Failure of Workplace Protections in the United States (University of California Press, 2016). With Els de Graauw, she has examined the implementation of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the challenges of coalition building and local governance. Her current book manuscript with coauthors examines immigration, race, and the low-wage workplace.


This is a hybrid event, taking place online and in person in the Sociology Student Lounge (Room 6112) at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Review our Building Entry Policy for in-person events.


This co-authored book (with Kate Griffith, Darlène Dubuisson, and Patricia Campos-Medina) is a David and Goliath story that illuminates how power operates in the low-wage workplace. In it, we draw on 50 interviews with immigrant worker advocates and over 300 Haitian and Central American low-wage workers, across three different immigration statuses. We argue that immigrant worker precarity is driven by three intersecting vectors of state power: under-regulation of class relations, exclusionary immigration policy, and long legacies of legalized racisms. Status at Work bridges labor scholarship on low-wage worker precarity, immigration scholarship on liminal legal status, and race scholarship on the long legacies of transatlantic slavery and white supremacist colonization. We contend that scholars, advocates, and policymakers must center workers’ voices and acknowledge these intersecting power dynamics when assessing or addressing the roots of widespread injustice in the low-wage workplace. 

**Co-sponsored by the M.A. program in International Migration Studies and the Ph.D. program in Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center, as well as the Labor Studies Department, School of Labor and Urban Studies**

Start Date: May 6, 2024
Start Time: 4:15 pm
Location: Sociology Student Lounge (Room 6112) at the CUNY Graduate Center.