Research Expertise and Interest

sociology, labor, social movements, inequality, higher education

Research Description

Kim Voss's  current research explores contemporary social movements, worker identities in a new era of immigration, and the shfting competitiveness of  college admissions. Most recently, she published "Rights, Economics, or Family? Frame Resonance, Political Ideology, and the Immigrant Rights Movement" (with Irene Bloemraad and Fabiana Silva) in Social Forces, 2016,a coedited book on the 2006 immigration protests (with Irene Bloemraad), Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America (University of California Press 2011), and  “The Local in the Global: Rethinking Social Movements in the New Millennium,” (with Michelle Williams) in Democratization (Vol. 19, 2012).

She has published two books about U.S. labor today: Hard Work: Remaking the America Labor Movement (with Rick Fantasia, University of California Press 2004) and Rebuilding Labor: Organizing and Organizers in the New Union Movement (co-edited with Ruth Milkman, Cornell University Press 2004), along with several articles, including, most recently, "Same as It Ever Was? New Labor, the CIO Organizing Model, and the Future of American Unions," Politics and Society, 43 (2015): 453-457 and “Democratic Dilemmas: Union Democracy and Union Renewal,” Transfer: European Review of Labor and Research, 16 (August 2010): 369-382.

In earlier work, Professor Voss studied the Knights of Labor--the largest American union organization of the nineteenth-century--to shed light on the question of why the U.S. labor movement has traditionally been so weak and politically conservative in comparison to labor movements in Western Europe. Her book on the Knights, The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century (Cornell University Press) was published in 1993. In 1996, she and five of her Berkeley colleagues wrote Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (Princeton University Press).

In the News

Researchers unveil new initiative on human migration

UC Berkeley researchers today announced the launch of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, a joint project of faculty, researchers and students that will explore such timely issues as refugee crises, human rights, mmigration, nativism and border control concerns.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
November 8, 2019
Lisa McCorkell and Sara Hinkley

Immigrant rights activists have been trying new strategies to advocate for refugees and undocumented people, including invoking human rights, civil rights, and American values. Berkeley Professors of Sociology Kim Voss and Irene Bloemraad surveyed California voters to find out which framing strategy works best. Contrary to popular logic, they found that the most effective framing strategy is the American values frame, showing a new path forward for pro-immigrant activism.

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