Places of Work, Scales of Organising: A Review of Labour Geography

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Abstract

Labour has for a long time been an important concept in economic geography, but more often as a cost that influences investment decisions than as a social force in its own right. Recently, however, some geographers have begun putting the politics of labour at the forefront of the analysis. Labour geography can be understood as a discernible strand of research which, throughout the last decade or so, has begun to emerge from a wider Anglo-American Marxist-inspired geography tradition. In this article, I will critically review this emerging literature, which represents a fresh approach to the recent changes in the world of work and to the close relationships between workers, firms, the state and the wider community. Particularly interesting – from a geographical point of view – are the strategies of organised labour in creating new scales of organising, and in rethinking old ones.

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