Our book of the Month choice for April

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

April’s Book of the Month was selected by Helen Worrell, Subject Consultant for Anthropology.


Sian Lazar

How to struggle: a political anthropology of labour

Pluto Press, 2023

HD4901.LAZ 2023




It was chosen to highlight innovative ethnographic research into labour struggles and worker strikes. It illuminates different perspectives within a complex global environment

Book Overview

This comparative ethnography presents a global perspective on labour agency, from heavy industry to the service sectors. Lazar goes beyond looking solely at organised trade unionism, also examining how individuals strive to improve their lives and working conditions.  A coda to the book examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on labour struggles and worker’s political agency.


‘Anthropology at its best. Lazar explores how different capitalist strategies for organizing workers’ productivity generate problems that encourage certain solutions that in themselves create more problems, and on and on … Remarkably imaginative in revealing how, in large and small ways, workers of all stripes can organise to create otherwise, generate new possibilities for resistance and lead more fulfilling lives’

lana Gershon, Ruth N. Halls professor of anthropology, Indiana University, US

‘As brilliant as it is useful. Lazar manoeuvres lightly among the opposing schools of labor anthropology and shows with world-wide examples that how we struggle for better lives is deeply embedded in the type of relationships in which we labour, care and serve; relationships that are globally produced, intimately lived, and more often than not divisive. A boon for analysts and activists alike’

Don Kalb, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, author of Expanding Class

How can I access it?

This title is available in hard copy in the library. One of our copies is currently located at  our New Books Display Area (around the corner from our Issue Desk). The shelfmark for the title is HD490.LAZ 2023. It is available to borrow by Oxford University students and staff members.

An eLegal Deposit copy of the title is also available on SOLO. This can be viewed on library reading room computers only.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heart

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