Sunday, 29 May 2016

Diversity Regimes in Worker Cooperatives: Workplace Inequality under Conditions of Worker Control

Volume 57, Issue 1, Winter 2016, Pages 98-128


a  University of the Pacific, United States
b  Northeastern University, United States 


Two major shifts in contemporary work organizations-"employee participation" and "diversity management"-have typically been studied in isolation from one another. Building on theoretical work by Acker (2006a,b), we ask how the interaction of these two constructs has affected the pursuit of workplace democracy at two worker cooperatives in Northern California. Using qualitative methods, we find that distinct "diversity regimes" have emerged at these establishments, substantially affecting the configurations of inequality that evolved. We distinguish two types of diversity regimes-"utilitarian" and "communitarian"-which operate either to obscure the workings of inequality or to foster attention to their presence. Our results suggest that how sociodemographic differences are managed has material consequences for the development of egalitarian structures at work. © 2015 Midwest Sociological Society.

Author keywords

Economic sociology; Labor and labor movements; Organizations, occupations, and work; Race, gender, and class; Sex and gender
ISSN: 00380253Source Type: Journal Original language: English
DOI: 10.1111/tsq.12114Document Type: Article
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
  Meyers, J.S.M.; Department of Sociology, Wendell Philip Center, University of the Pacific, 3611 Pacific Avenue, United States;
© Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.