Anthropology & Sociology
West Chester University
Jacqueline M. Zalewski, PhD
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 (Yale University), 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 professionals about the outsourcing of their work.
I have continued doing qualitative research on the outsourcing of professional work and, recently, I have completed one article on institutional and environmental factors involved in the deskilling of professional work. I have submitted it for consideration to a scholarly journal in the sociology of work. I am also completing a book manuscript on the effects of outsourcing on social relations, culture, employment, and professional work.
My Current Scholarly Projects (updated December 2015)
2016 Targeted Conference Presentations
2015 Conference Paper Presentations
Working on a Book Manuscript (tentatively titled)
New Research (Supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, Student Engagement Grants in both the Spring 2015 and Fall 2015)
I began a new research study on the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education of Sociology alumni who have recently graduated from West Chester University. My colleague Dr. Miguel Ceballos and I call our collaborative study “The Sociology Majors Project.” As part of the curriculum in two of the sociology classes I teach (Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Work) students are contacting alumni from West Chester University to better understand the jobs and ongoing education they pursue post-graduation. This knowledge can: help shape department curriculum, improve academic and career advisement in the department, and pedagogy and teaching in the discipline.
Areas of Scholarly Interest