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Civic LaborsScholar Activism and Working-Class Studies$
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Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John W. Mckerley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040498

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040498.001.0001

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Engaged Scholarship and the Living-Wage Movement

Engaged Scholarship and the Living-Wage Movement

Chapter:
(p.246) Chapter 16 Engaged Scholarship and the Living-Wage Movement
Source:
Civic Labors
Author(s):

Stephanie Luce

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040498.003.0020

In this chapter, the author demonstrates the synergy between scholarship and engagement based on her experience as a researcher with the living wage movement in Los Angeles and the ways in which this experience shaped her future academic career. Not only did she continue to be involved with living-wage campaigns in other cities, but her academic research shifted as well to focus on this topic. The modern living wage movement emerged just as a fierce debate about minimum wages raged. The author expresses the frustrations of academics who enter the world of activists—issue campaigns are often primarily ideological rather than based on research, and opponents insist on oversimplifying the issues involved. Scholars must accept that the best-reasoned argument does not always win. Nonetheless, the author contends that researchers can make important contributions to movements, not only in terms of producing research to meet the short-term goals of a campaign, but also in analyzing campaigns on a larger scale that can help movements formulate and pursue larger goals. She concludes with a discussion of the challenges involved in engaged scholarship and activism.

Keywords:   living wage movement, Los Angeles, minimum wage, academics, activists, research, engaged scholarship, activism, academic career

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