Jamie McCallum
Office
Munroe Hall 411
Tel
(802) 443-5630
Email
mccallum@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall Term: Monday 11:00am- 2:00pm.
Additional Programs
Sociology

Jamie K. McCallum is associate professor of sociology at Middlebury College. I moved to Vermont from Brooklyn in 2011 to join the faculty at Middlebury, after years of studying and teaching at the City University of New York.  

My research and teaching interests emerge from both scholarly inquiry and activist commitments. I teach courses on the Sociology of Labor, Political Sociology, Social Theory, Globalization, Organizing for Social Change, and Sexuality.  

During the pandemic I spent time interviewing essential workers and doing research on public health. My newest book, out in 2022, is Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Struggle for Worker Justice. It argues that bad jobs for essential workers hurt everyone, and that we all have a stake in making sure workers have the justice they deserve.  

My last book, Worked Over: How Round-The-Clock-Work Is Killing the American Dream (Basic Books 2020), examines struggles over labor time in the US, and the shapeshifting meanings of work over time. My first book, Global Unions, Local Power (Cornell 2013), won the best book award from the American Sociological Association. It examines the ability of workers to exercise power across national borders, drawing on research I conducted with over 100 workers, unionists, and business leaders in nine countries.   

My work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Washington Post, The Nation, Mother Jones, Jacobin, and a variety of scholarly journals.  

I directed two short documentary films that I made with current students and recent graduates. One of them, “The Real Work,” toured the country in a variety of film festivals. 

He’s on the executive board of the Rights and Democracy Institute and is a volunteer firefighter in Weybridge, VT. 

Courses Taught

Course Description

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis) or ENVS 0703 (ES Senior Integrated Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and the approval of the student’s thesis committee. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Senior standing; ENVS major; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0700; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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Course Description

Nature and Society
This seminar is sociology for nature lovers. We often behave as if nature is independent of social life, but the two are profoundly interconnected. In this course we will explore this paradox through short excursions in the natural world—hikes, walks, field trips, outdoor meetings—and classroom-based learning. Drawing on practices of naturalism, social science, ecology, and philosophy, we will investigate the social construction of the natural world under capitalism. Course material will focus on studying Vermont’s ecological communities, the environmental movement, cultural geography, and natural literacy. Students will learn to “read the landscape” through the critical lens of sociology, and to challenge concepts of “natural” and “wild,” as well as “race” and “gender.” The course emphasizes an approach to writing based on observation, reflection, and evidence.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

The U.S. American Left: Past, Present, and Future
This course is an introduction to the politics, ideas, and institutions of the U.S. American Left. We will cover the labor movement, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the New Left of the sixties, and the academic Left that has paid increasing attention to race and gender. Later we turn to the protest movements against climate change, free trade, and growing inequality. The course also focuses on contemporary resistance to Trump, and the resurgent popularity of Marxism and socialism in the United States. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the complex history and possible futures of Left politics today. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Society and the Individual
This course examines the ideas and enduring contributions of the giants of modern social theory, including Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Sigmund Freud. Readings will include selections from original works, as well as contemporary essays. Key issues will include the nature of modernity, the direction of social change, and the role of human agency in constructing the "good society." This course serves as a general introduction to sociology. (formerly SOAN 0105) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Sociology of Labor
In this class we will survey the sociological literature on labor and labor movements in America and around the world. We will raise questions related to the organization and transformation of work, the making of class society, trade unionism and other class-based organizing, and the impact of globalization on labor organizations. Exploration of these key themes will happen through an analysis of classic and contemporary texts, as well as fiction and film. This is a seminar-style course with opportunities for students to lead class discussions and debates. (formerly SOAN 0201) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Sociology of Subcultures
Whether based on music and style (punk, emo, hip hop), physical activities (skateboarding, surfing, parkour) or pop culture fandom, networks of (young) people are regularly labelled as subcultures. This course will introduce students to the study of subcultures based on sociological and ethnographic materials. Who participates in subcultures and why? Who is excluded (on the basis of class, race, gender, sexuality)? Are subcultures forms of resistance, and what distinguishes them from social movements? How do forces such as globalization, technological development, and political transformation impact subcultures? These questions will guide our introductory look at examples and theories of subcultures.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Social Theory
This course provides an overview of major lines of development in 20th century social theory relevant to the field of sociology, focusing on how various theorists have grappled with the basic issues that have dominated 20th century social thought. Particular attention will be given to the questions arising from the conceptual distinctions between structure and action, on the one hand, and identity and culture, on the other. How is social order possible? How autonomous are human agents? How do we explain the persistence of observed patterns of human interaction and social practice? How do we analyze relations between the world of everyday life and the large-scale development of social systems? How does social change take place? (SOCI 0105) (formerly SOAN 0305) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Sex and Society
In this seminar we will explore the pleasures, power, and problems of sex and will place sexuality in dynamic interaction with larger social issues. It is impossible to understand sexuality as separate from other dimensions of the human condition such as economics, politics, work, family, race, and gender. In particular, we will examine questions related to the science of sex, morality, monogamy, sex work, power and domination, desire and fantasy, and sexual politics. Overall, students will gain an understanding of sexuality as a social phenomenon. (formerly SOAN 0402) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Sociology of the Pandemic
In this seminar students will conduct original sociological research on the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also examine the ways that sociological theory and other materials—films, news reports, journalism, social media, etc—can help us understand the disruptive social, political, economic, and cultural changes brought on by the current crisis. Students will pursue their own projects or work in groups, and will work collectively as a class to help each other examine the sociological dimensions of the pandemic. Topics might include the impacts on labor and work issues, family dynamics, inequality, education, and the intersections with race, class, and gender. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Prior to registering for SOCI 0500, a student must enlist the support of a faculty advisor from the Department of Sociology. (Open to Majors only) (Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024

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Course Description

One-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a student will carry out an independent, one-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 25-40 pages, due the last day of classes.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024

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Course Description

Multi-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a senior will carry out an independent multi-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 60-100 pages, due either at the end of the Winter Term or the Friday after spring break.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024

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