Abstract: Do public engagement and political activism enhance or compromise the research enterprise of social scientists? I offer a personal reflection on the benefits and challenges of grounding scholarship about labor and workers’ political struggles in praxical engagement with labor activists, including with actual subjects of research. While scholars engage non-academic publics in many different ways, I underline how ongoing direct collaboration with labor activists can be facilitated by participation in campus organizations whose mission is labor-oriented research and education. My own involvement with the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington provides one example of how this linkage between labor scholarship and labor activism can be sustained in routine, mostly complementary, and productive ways.
Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14 / Issue 02 / June 2016, pp 432-441 / Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016