Laura Y. Liu is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Geography at The New School. Her ongoing research project, Sweatshop City, examines the urban geography of migration, industry, and neighborhood change in New York City. The contemporary global city, she argues, is a “sweatshop city,” dominated by a spatial hierarchy of work that is unevenly visible and intentionally obscures relations of power and accountability. Based on ethnographic fieldwork on immigrant community organizing at workers’ centers in New York, Liu’s research demonstrates the extent to which sweatshop labor – hyper-exploitative work performed in highly segmented and segregated labor markets embedded within structures of subcontracting – remains a constitutive feature of the city’s economy.
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