What will work eventually look like? This is the question at the heart of this timely collection. The editors and contributors—a mix of policy experts, academics, and advocates—seek to reframe the typical projections of the “future” of work. They examine the impact of structural racism on work, the loss of family‑sustaining jobs, the new role of gig work, growing economic inequality, barriers to rewarding employment such as age, gender, disability, and immigration status, and the business policies driving these ongoing challenges.
Together the essays present varied and practical insights into both U.S. and global trends, discuss the role of labor activism in furthering economic justice, and examine progressive strategies to improve the experience of work, wages, and the lives of workers. The Many Futures of Work offers a range of viable policies and practices that can promote rewarding employment and steer our course away from low-wage, unstable jobs toward jobs that lead to equitable prosperity and economic inclusion.
Peter A. Creticos is President and Executive Director of the Institute for Work and the Economy. In Fall 2020, Peter was appointed to the Equity Task Force of the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB). He is also a member of the Economic Development advisory committee for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Peter has managed several projects includes studies on apprenticeship, economic development in the Midwest, the integration of immigrants in the workforce, and professional licensing of skilled immigrants. He coauthored a chapter in Latinos in Chicago: Reflections of an American Landscape. He also coauthored Manufacturing in the United States, Mexico, and Central America, Implications for Competitiveness and Migration and was a contributor to OECD Territorial Reviews: Puebla/Tlaxcala, Mexico, 2013.
Larry Bennett is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at DePaul University, and from 2017 to 2018 served as interim Executive Director of North Branch Works, a nonprofit neighborhood economic development organization in Chicago. He is the coeditor of Neoliberal Chicago, author of The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism, and the coeditor of Temple University Press’s Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy book series.
Laura Owen is Associate Professor of Economics at DePaul University. Her work has appeared in various journals, including The Journal of Economic History, Review of Social Sciences, and Labor History.
Costas Spirou is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia College & State University, where he is also Professor of Sociology and Public Administration. Most recently, he is the author of Anchoring Innovation Districts: The Entrepreneurial University and Urban Change and coauthor of Building the City of Spectacle: Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Remaking of Chicago. He is editor of the Johns Hopkins University Press Higher Education and the City book series.
Maxine Morphis-Riesbeck is an independent scholar. She served previously as visiting faculty for the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program at Lewis University and the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at North Central College. Currently, she is a consultant specializing in process analysis, communications, and training. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
Larry Bennett is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at DePaul University. He is the coeditor of The Many Futures of Work: Rethinking Expectations and Breaking Molds (Temple University Press) and of the press’s Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy book series. In 2017 and 2018 Professor Bennett was interim Executive Director of North Branch Works, a neighborhood economic development organization in Chicago. John D. Fairfield is Professor of History at Xavier University and the author of The Public and its Possibilities: Triumphs and Tragedies in the American City (Temple), The Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937, and Oakley: From Hamlet to the Center of Cincinnati. Patricia Mooney-Melvin is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. She is the coeditor of Making Sense of the City: Local Government, Civic Culture, and Community Life in Urban America; editor of American Community Organizations: A Historical Dictionary; coauthor of The Urbanization of Modern America: A Brief History, 2nd Edition; and author of The Organic City: Urban Definition and Neighborhood Organization 1880-1920.
"The Many Futures of Work packs into one volume a breathtaking amount of information and data (with notably colorful tables and figures).... The book is a valuable source for academics and students who study work. It can also provide fresh ideas for consultants and labor organizers. As technology and capital continue to transform work, The Many Futures of Work provides an important reminder to stay abreast of their logics and the mechanisms used to sustain workers’ interests, whatever the future will be."—Contemporary Sociology