Labor Geography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Labor geography is a branch of human geography which developed after the mid-1980s and examines principally the role of labor’s collective agency of principally collective Labor such as unions and communities in shaping the landscape, institutions, and scaling of capitalism. As such Labor geography challenged some of the capital-centric readings of capitalist development which characterized early versions of structural Marxism in human geography in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since its development it has adopted more pluralistic, poststructural readings of the role of Labor and has addressed a wide range of issues including scaling, the intersectionality of class, gender, race, and ethnicity, Labor-community relations, internationalism, and new forms of work organization. Over the last decade, however, labor geography has been subject to an extensive critique in part due to its own eclecticism and a need to redefine its core concepts most notably agency, including that by nonwage workers, especially in the Global South.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022955
ISBN (Print)9780081022962
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Agency
  • Internationalism
  • Intersectionality
  • Justice for Janitors
  • Social movement unionism
  • Workplace
  • unions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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