Anthropology & Sociology
West Chester University
Associate Professor of Sociology
Dr. Jacqueline Zalewski's Biography
I have ongoing scholarly interests in the growing contingencies workers face in their jobs and employment relations. This is because of my background. I grew up in Kenosha, WI. Similar to industrial-based cities in PA like Reading, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, a significant proportion of Kenosha's population worked in durable goods and automobile production industries. This was until the ball dropped in the 1970s and early 1980s, when many auto and industrial workers in Kenosha experienced job loss. What happened to Kenosha's auto and industrial workers was part of a larger social and economic process scholars call deindustrialization. Kathryn Dudley, a cultural anthropologist from Kenosha, does an excellent job with interviews of unemployed auto workers there, and she discusses the shift from a "culture of the hands" to a "culture of the mind" in her award winning book The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Post-Industrial America (1994).
Through the 1970s, I grew up as part of the "working class" in Kenosha and this culture has had a significant effect on shaping my research interests in changes in work and organizations and technology in the workplace (a prime culprit in the reengineering of work, producing greater employment contingencies, and the job losses described above). For my master's thesis, I conducted ethnographic research of blue-collar temporary work. For my PhD, I interviewed information technologists and human resource professions about the outsourcing of their work.
The shift to a post-industrial economy, in part, provided an opportunity for me to break from my blue-collar background and earn a BA, MA, and PhD in Sociology. I was also lucky to have a great set of scholarly mentors along the way. They are Dr. Gerhard Schutte, Dr. Lauren Langman, Dr. Marilyn Krogh, Dr. Peter Whalley (deceased), and Dr. Leigh Shaffer. I am very grateful to them. Their inspiring mentorship has fostered my recent scholarly interests in academic and career advising.
My Current Scholarly Projects (updated December 2013)
Currently, I am working with several students on my outsourcing research. We are working on:
· updating, presenting, and publishing two papers. One paper, "Working, the Job, and Postindustrial Careers With Outsourcing: Theorizing About Job Quality and Loss," has been accepted for presentation at the Labor and Employment Relations Conference, in Philadelphia (January 3-5, 2014). We are presenting a second paper that is titled, "The Social Consequences and Costs of Reorganizing Work with IN-HOUSE Outsourcing" at the Eastern Sociological Society meeting in Baltimore in February 2014.
· writing a book proposal. My book will describe the effects of outsourcing on professionals and their work and will include chapters on changes to: the scope of their work, employment conditions, the culture, and social relations in the workplace.
Also I, along with colleague Dr. Miguel Ceballos, are beginning a new long-term project on the career tracks and transitions of our West Chester University Sociology majors. This project will support the Department of Anthropology and Sociology (e.g., with future academic and career advising, curricula planning, and development in the department, and faculty pedagogy in the classroom). It will also be a scholarly vehicle for us and several student research assistants. We expect to present and publish the findings from this research at academic and career advising forums. This project has been approved by West Chester University's Institutional Review Board.
· Introduction to Sociology (both F2F and Online)
· Sociology of Organizations
· Sociology of Work
· Career Internship
· Urban Sociology
· Sociology of Education (spring 2010 and 2013 only)
· Senior Seminar (spring 2013 only)
Areas of Scholarly Interest
· Changes to Work, Occupations, Professions, and Organizations
· Work and Inequality
· Technology and Internet Studies
· Academic and Career Advising