Tom Juravich

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Tom Juravich is a professor of Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Juravich is also a musician and labor movement activist.

Education and career

Juravich, a former mechanic, received a Ph.D. in sociology in 1983 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

From 1984 to 1993 he was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Labor Studies at Penn State University where he also directed a workers' education program for wage-earners in the Philadelphia area.

In 1993, Juravich was appointed as an associate professor of labor studies at UMass Amherst, being full professor in 1997. He was director of the UMass Amherst Labor Center from 1997-2006 and 2016-2018.

Research focus

Tom Juravich studies work, workers and the labor movement. As an ethnographer, his exploration of the labor process began with his participant observation as a machine mechanic in a New England wire mill which was published in his first book, Chaos on the Shop Floor: A Worker's View of Quality, Productivity and Management .  Despite the degradation and segmentation of work, he found that workers retained more (unrecognized) skills than many had suggested. He continued his work on the labor process with At the Altar of the Bottom Line: The Degradation of Work in the 21st Century that explores the work of nurses, call center representatives, industrial workers, as well as undocumented workers in the fish processing industry. Juravich returned to exploring the complex ways that workers’ skills persist in his “Artifacts of Workers Knowledge: Finding Skill in the Closing and Restructuring of a Furniture Manufacturer" in Ethnography. He is currently researching wage theft and the work of undocumented workers in residential construction and is part of an NSF grant exploring the impact of artificial intelligence and computer-based technology on the future of work.

Juravich's research on the labor movement focuses on organizing and strategic campaigns.  His quantitative research with Kate Bronfenbrenner on organizing documented the importance of grassroots rank-and-file tactics for successful organizing in both the private and public sector.  Beginning with his Ravenswood: The Steelworkers’ Victory and the Revival of American Labor on the Steelworkers’ (with Kate Bronfenbrenner) he had also written extensively about union strategic campaigns. His chapter “Beating Global Capital: A Framework and Method for Union Strategic Corporate Research and Campaigns,” pioneered an approach to strategic corporate research and campaigns and is widely cited and utilized in the labor movement.  Building on this approach Juravich created and is the webmaster for  a comprehensive website for conducting corporate research in the U.S. and Canada. He teaches strategic corporate research and campaigns to a variety of union, community and environmental groups.

Juravich continues to write about the contemporary labor movement in recent articles, including “Constituting Challenges in Differing Arenas of Power: Workers’ Centers, the Fight for $15 and Union Organizing.”  He also builds on his work in labor history and union culture that he began with Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions (with Jim Green and William Hartford) with his recent “Bread and Roses: The Evolution of a Song, Labor Songbooks, and Union Culture.”  He is also co-editor with his colleagues at the UMass Labor Center of Labor in the Time of Trump .

Musical works

Juravich has produced five recordings of labor and roots music. His first album, Rising Again, was produced by the United Auto Workers. His 1989 A World to Win and the 1991 Songs from the Film Out of Darkness: The Mine Workers Story (produced by Academy Award Winner Barbara Kopple) were released on Flying Fish Records. Juravich's latest CDs and Tangled in Our Dreams (with Teresa Healy) (2006) and, (2007) were released by Finnegan Music.

Published works

Solely authored books

Co-authored books

Solely authored articles

Co-authored articles

Musical works

Related Research Articles

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