The Violence of Work: New Essays in Canadian and U.S. Labour History

Edited by Jeremy Milloy and Joan Sangster

© 2021

From mining to sex work and from the classroom to the docks, violence has always been a part of work. This collection of essays highlights the many different forms and expressions of violence that have arisen under capitalism in the last two hundred years, as well as how historians of working-class life and labour have understood violence. The editors draw together diverse case studies, integrating analysis of class, age, gender, sexuality, and race into the scholarship.

Essays span the United States and Canadian border, exploring gender violence, sexual harassment, the violent kidnapping of union organizers, the violence of inadequate health and safety protections, the culture of violence in state institutions, the mythology of working-class violence, and the changing nature of violence in extractive industries. The Violence of Work theorizes and historicizes violence as an integral part of working life, making it possible to understand the full scope and causes of workplace violence over time.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

The Violence of Work demonstrates that violence has always been an important part of work under capitalism. The editors explore workplace violence in a diverse range of North American workplaces from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century.

The Violence of Work: New Essays in Canadian and U.S. Labour History

Edited by Jeremy Milloy and Joan Sangster

© 2021

From mining to sex work and from the classroom to the docks, violence has always been a part of work. This collection of essays highlights the many different forms and expressions of violence that have arisen under capitalism in the last two hundred years, as well as how historians of working-class life and labour have understood violence. The editors draw together diverse case studies, integrating analysis of class, age, gender, sexuality, and race into the scholarship.

Essays span the United States and Canadian border, exploring gender violence, sexual harassment, the violent kidnapping of union organizers, the violence of inadequate health and safety protections, the culture of violence in state institutions, the mythology of working-class violence, and the changing nature of violence in extractive industries. The Violence of Work theorizes and historicizes violence as an integral part of working life, making it possible to understand the full scope and causes of workplace violence over time.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Jeremy Milloy is the W.P. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University.


    Joan Sangster is a professor in the Departments of History and Women's Studies at Trent University.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Accounting for Violence
    Jeremy Milloy

    1. The Perils of Sex Work in Montreal: Seeking Security and Justice in the Face of Violence, 1810–1842
    Mary Ann Poutanen

    2. The “New Solution”: Anti-Labour Kidnapping, D.B. McKay, and the Legacy of the Second Seminole War 
    Chad Pearson

    3. Billy Gohl: Labour, Violence, and Myth in the Early Twentieth-Century Pacific Northwest
    Aaron Goings

    4. The Rules of Discipline: Workers and the Culture of Violence in Progressive Era Reform Schools
    James Schmidt

    5. By the Numbers: Workers’ Compensation and the (Further) Conventionalization of Workplace Violence
    Robert Storey

    6. Slow Violence and Hidden Injuries: The Work of Strip Mining in the American West
    Ryan Tate

    7. The Murder of Lori Dupont: Violence, Harassment, and Occupational Health and Safety in Ontario
    Sarah Jessup

    8. Gender Violence in the Hospitality Industry: Panic Buttons, Pants, and Protest
    Emily Labarbera-Twarog

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