Carl (Barry) Eidlin (2003)

Assistant Professor, McGill University, Montreal

Barry Eidlin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University. He is a comparative historical sociologist interested in the study of class, politics, inequality, and social change. More specifically, his research explores the changing relationship between social mobilization, political processes, and ideology in advanced capitalist democracies. His research has examined diverging trajectories of working class power in the United States and Canada over the course of the twentieth century, changing party-class relations in the United States and Canada, intra-class conflict and organizational transformation in the Teamsters Union, and the effect of Walmart on retail sector wages, among other things. Eidlin’s major current project revisits the question of “why no workplace democracy in America?” Starting from the paradox that most Americans take for granted certain basic rights as citizens that they then willingly check at the door when they show up for work, the project first examines the history of workplace democracy, when workers didn't make such a stark division between their economic lives as workers and political lives as citizens. It then explains how this division between economic and political life developed and became entrenched. He is also working on a series of other projects broadly aimed re-theorizing contemporary notions of class identity, ideology, and politics.

Dissertation Title: 
The Class Idea: Politics, Ideology, and Class Formation in the United States and Canada in the Twentieth Century
Dissertation Book Title: 
Labor and the Class Idea in the U.S. and Canada. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in the Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics series).