Representing the working class in times of migration

Primary investigator: Mai Lundemark.

Grants: The project is funded via a faculty financed position awarded to the Department of Sociology by Uppsala University’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

Project description: This ongoing PhD-project is a qualitative study of trade union representation in Denmark. Increasing mobilization of both capital and labour challenge trade unions’ capacity to regulate local labour markets. Due to migration, workforces are moreover becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnic and citizenship backgrounds. Trade unions are thus confronted with two challenges: How to regain bargaining power and political influence under increasingly globalized conditions, and whether and how to represent migrant and ethnic minority workers the same as majority workers. Faced with these challenges, the collective identity of unions, understood as the meanings and methods of representation, are called into question. This project therefore explores such meaning making processes and how they form perceptions of class representation in everyday trade union action.

Keywords: Trade unions, collective identity, representation, ethnicity, class

Advisors: Prof. Hannah Bradby & Susanne Urban.