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On coerced labor, and work without employment.


When you look at them in isolation, you might might think 'oh they're prisoners, oh they're getting welfare, oh they're grad students or athletes,' but when you look at them all together, it seems less like idiosyncratic examples, and more like a broader strategy of exclusion - of trying to carve out people from the basic employment protections we have cobbled together to protect workers in America.

Sociologist Erin Hatton explores the nature of coerced labor in America - as prisons, welfare programs and universities push workers outside the protection of traditional legal employment, employers wield increasing power to exploit and punish subjects with little protection and less bargaining power.

Erin is author of Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment from University of California Press.

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Erin Hatton

Errin Hatton is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.


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