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Professor of Sociology

Steven Vallas is Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University in Boston. Most of his research is concerned with the transformation of work, struggles over new technologies, and responses to the demands of the new economy. His books and articles have appeared in all the usual places. He is currently at work on an NSF-funded study of the algorithmic workplace, focusing on ride hailing, home maintenance, courier and caregiving platforms. He is also conducting research on logistics workers, focusing on Amazon workers in particular. He teaches in the sociology of work and on contemporary sociological theory.

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International Francqui Chair in the Social Sciences, KU Leuven (Belgium). 2017-2018

Schor, Juliet B. and S.P. Vallas. Forthcoming, 2021. “The Sharing Economy: Rhetoric and Reality.” Annual Review of Sociology 47.

Vallas, S.P. and Juliet B. Schor. 2020. “What Do Platforms Do? Understanding the Gig Economy.” Annual Review of Sociology 46: 273–294.

Doerflinger, Nadja, Valeria Pulignano and S. P. Vallas. 2020. “Production Regimes and Class Compromise Among European Warehouse Workers.” Work and Occupations. July 2020. doi:10.1177/0730888420941556

Vallas, S.P. 2019. “Platform Capitalism: What’s at Stake for Workers?” New Labor Forum 28, 1 (January): 48-59.

Vallas, S. P. and Angele Christin. 2018. “Work and Identity in an Era of Precarious Employment: How Workers Respond to ‘Personal Branding’ Discourse.” Work and Occupations 45, 1 (February): 3-37.

Kalleberg, Arne L. and Steven P. Vallas. 2018. “Precarious Work: Theory, Research, and Politics.” Pp. 1-30 in Kalleberg and Vallas, eds., Precarious Work: Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences. Research in the Sociology of Work, v. 31. Binkley UK: Emerald.

Courses

Course catalog
  • Sociology of Work and Employment

    SOCL 7270

    Examines the ways in which work organizations powerfully shape individual and social life. Traces such influences with particular emphasis on how organizations differentially affect the distribution of job rewards across class, gender and racial/ethnic lines. Topics include the historical evolution of the management/worker relationship, job segregation by both race and gender, the impact of new technologies on social inequality, the relation between gender and professional careers, governmental efforts to ensure equal opportunity, and the impact of workplace transformation on racial and gender inequalities at work.

  • The Twenty-First Century Workplace

    SOCL 1280

    Analyzes the transformation of work since the advent of industrial capitalism. Emphasizes the organization and experience of work since World War II and the contemporary shifts underway in the wake of deindustrialization, the rise of service work, the emergence of the internet, the platform revolution, and the globalization of business organizations. Topics include the shifting nature of authority relations at work; changing forms of labor control; types of workplace culture in traditional and high-tech settings; and efforts to identify and reduce bias against women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. Addresses dilemmas arising from the introduction of advanced technologies.

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