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A Contest of IdeasCapital, Politics, and Labor$
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Nelson Lichtenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.001.0001

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Do Graduate Students Work?

Do Graduate Students Work?

Chapter:
(p.249) Chapter 20 Do Graduate Students Work?
Source:
A Contest of Ideas
Author(s):

Nelson Lichtenstein

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.003.0021

This chapter considers the question of whether graduate students should be categorized as workers or students. The question has been up for grabs for several years in Congress, at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and in the courts. The issue is important not just because such a decision will help advance or retard the enrollment of thousands of graduate students into trade unions. Rather, this is the kind of question that bedevils and confuses our understanding of the nature of work, of the purposes of the labor law, and of how we think about class in a society when the vast majority of people wear collars that are neither blue nor white.

Keywords:   graduate students, unionized students, teaching assistants, trade unions

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