Anna W. Jacobs, PhD

Vanderbilt University


My driving research interest is in people as workers and labor in capitalist society. I study the working class from three perspectives: political sociology, social movements, and stratification/health.

My work in political sociology employs a top-down approach, with a specific focus on how corporate elites undermine labor power. For example, my dissertation examines the corporate elite's influence on the proposal and passage of regressive labor legislation in state legislatures.

My social movements research uses a bottom-up strategy that centers on the ways in which labor movements attempt to resist capitalist forces through the use of direct action. In this area, I have conducted research on how media coverage of strikes and women’s participation in strikes impact the chances of strike success. 

Finally, my stratification/health research examines workers themselves in order to clarify the links between work and well-being. In this area, I have explored low-wage work, precarious work, job quality, and mental health. ​​