Remaking Work, Remaking Space: Spaces of Production and Accumulation in the Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1865–1920

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Abstract:

The era of US capitalist development between 1865 and 1920 offers a good opportunity to analyze the relational nature of social change at multiple scales precisely because it was a time of transition, for US and world capitalism alike. Existing accounts of the transition to monopoly capitalism in the US have focused on one or two geographical scales, such as the national economy or the shop floor. In this literature, scales are essentially treated as “containers” within which social change occurs. The possibility that the containers themselves may be fundamentally altered is not addressed. In contrast, this paper views labor process transformations, and transformations of the social division of labor, as dialectically bound. In particular, I seek to explain how the American transition to monopoly capitalism shaped, and was shaped by, class conflict and competitive pressures at multiple scales—the shop floor, the region, and the national and global divisions of labor.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8330.00235

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, CA, US jasonwmoore@hotmail.com

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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