Renowned Sociologist to Speak on Immigration and Labor Market

By Tom McLaughlin

Rutgers University–Camden will host Ruth Milkman, an internationally renowned sociologist of labor and labor movements, for a free, public lecture on immigration and the precarious existence of the labor market in the 21st century United States from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6.

The Robert Bailey Memorial Lecture, presented by Rutgers–Camden’s Department of Public Policy and Administration, will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room, located in the Campus Center.

Milkman, a distinguished professor of sociology at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, as well as research director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, will explain how there are 25 million immigrants in the U.S. workforce, comprising 16.5 percent of all workers.

According to Milkman, about a third of these workers are undocumented migrants from Mexico, Central America, Asia, and Africa, are employed in low-wage, precarious jobs at the bottom of the labor market, and are vulnerable to wage theft and other violations of labor and employment law.

The situation of low-wage immigrant workers, she posits, is inextricably entwined with rising inequality and the increasing, precarious nature of the nation’s workforce as a whole, which, in turn, is tied to the broader transformation of the U.S. political economy over the past four decades.

Robert Bailey was an associate professor in Rutgers–Camden’s Department of Public Policy and Administration. The Bailey Lecture was established in recognition of the contributions that he made to Rutgers–Camden students, his colleagues, the campus, and Rutgers University. His book, Gay Politics/Urban Politics (Columbia University Press), made a major contribution to the understanding of the rise and growing significance of gay and lesbian urban movements and their impact on the culture and politics of U.S. cities.

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