Laura Hanson Schlachter
Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Schlachter researches the sociology of movements and markets with a focus on labor and the environment. Recent projects have examined union involvement in the Rust Belt solidarity economy and municipal policies to promote economic democracy. She is currently directing the first national survey of cooperative employees and worker-owners with the Democracy at Work Institute and Center on Wisconsin Strategy. Schlachter was co-coordinator of the Madison affiliate of 350.org from 2014-16 and has a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Synthesizes six possibilities and dilemmas of union involvement in worker cooperative formation and argue that these considerations should structure the future debate.
Examines the political context surrounding the launch of the Madison Cooperative Enterprise Development Program, a $3 million municipal business incubation initiative for low-wage workers and communities of color. This report is based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted September 2015 to July 2016.
Argues that social enterprise incubators play a critical gatekeeping role in the social economy and shape how movement goals are enacted in the market. Draws on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted June 2014 to April 2016.
Examines the potential of worker cooperatives as an economic development strategy in Memphis, Tennessee. Drafted in collaboration with Advance Memphis and based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and document analysis conducted September to December 2012.
Analyzes the possibilities and dilemmas of union involvement in democratic worker-owned firms through a case study of a union co-op initiative in Cincinnati, OH conducted November 2013 to April 2016.