Robert J. S. Ross


Robert Ross is Research Professor of Sociology.  He is a former Chair of Sociology and was  Director of the International Studies Stream at Clark University from 2000-2013. He was the elected Faculty Chair of the University from 2000-2006. He has taught at Clark since 1972 and held visiting appointments at MIT, Michigan and Harvard Universities and Wheaton College. His BA is from the University of Michigan, and MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. Ross’ major work has been on the globalization of capital and labor. He has served as Chair of the Section on the Political Economy of the World System of the American Sociological Association, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of World Systems Research.

In 1990 he co-authored (SUNY Press) Global Capitalism: the New Leviathan. Slaves to Fashion: poverty and abuse in the new sweatshops was released in October 2004 (University of Michigan Press). His 1983 article on sweatshops in New York was one of the very first scholarly articles to identify the resurgence of labor exploitation and abuse in the American apparel industry.

Since 1994-95 he has been concentrating his research and public speaking about the resurgence of sweatshop conditions in the American and global apparel industry. He lectures widely on the topic, and on labor rights and international trade.  His work has been published in numerous books and articles, including among other places in American Prospect, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, Third World Quarterly , the Nation, In These Times, and Tikkun, as well as scholarly journals. He has been a consultant to the economic development agency of the city of Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Welfare, and a speechwriter and policy adviser in the Massachusetts State Senate. He was the Policy Director for campaigns for state senate, county sheriff, Lieutenant Governor and Congress.

During the Sixties (of the last century) Bob Ross was a founder of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). He writes about that period; for example an article comparing the anti-sweatshop movement and the movements of the Sixties, and another on the Port Huron Statement and Democracy.