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The Sociology of Science, Technology and the Military: Engineering

Study of people and machines


A highly selective bibliography of resources available through Princeton catalogs

The Sociology of Science, Technology and the Military

  Engineering New Machines:  The Human Cost.

“Slavery will never end until machines are self-governing.”  Attributed to  Plato, (4th century BCE.) 

“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”  Mother Jones, (1915)

In the recent past, advances in Engineering have occurred at an accelerating rate of change - which in itself is astonishing - to create machinery that makes goods and provide services in remarkable and ever evolving new ways.  And yet there has frequently also been a horrific human cost in the labor necessary to support those shining new ways, and often for particular groups – by ethnicity, national origin, gender, or even age.

Picking cotton to feed the spinning and weaving machines of the industrial revolution was done by backbreaking hand labor of many people – and yet today can be accomplished by two or three people driving huge machines over the fields from the relative comfort of ergonomically correct seats in climate controlled cabs.  Remarkable advances in food processing and transport created a huge demand for agricultural products, which once could only be planted and harvested by hand of many workers in a  laborious process  Today, tomatoes, potatoes, beans and other food crops can readily be planted, tilled, and harvested by a few workers using newly developed machines.  Canals are now dug by huge modern earth moving equipment, mines are drilled and coal gathered by new machines, rails and track beds for railroads can be put down by recently developed automatic equipment, and so on.

And for all, there are now regulations and other protections put in place by Union and Legislative actions over the last century or so which help protect workers in all manner of jobs. 

But this is today.    And in the not so distant past in industrialized nations, and in some places even now, labor to accomplish all this was done by hand, and sometimes by forced labor.  Among the resources available through the Princeton University Library to explore various aspects of the evolving relationship between men – and women and children – and machines are the following.

  • Bananeras : women transforming the banana unions of Latin America, by Dana Frank. Chicago:Haymarket Books, 2016.137 pages : illustrations.(F) HD6073.B232 L294 2016.

  • Child labour and right issues : a study of migrant Dr. Robin D. Tribhuwan and Dr. Jayshree V. Kharche.New Delhi : Discovery Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., 2014.275 pages.(RECAP) HD6250.I42 T748 2014.
    Deals with forced labor of migrant children in the brickmaking industry in India.

  • Child workers and industrial health in Britain, 1780-1850, by Peter Kirby.Woodbridge : Boydell Press, 2013 212 pages, illustrations.(F) HD6250.G72 K57 2013 also ONLINE.

  • Childhood and child labour in industrial England : diversity and agency, 1750-1914, edited by Nigel Goose, Katrina Honeyman.Farnham, Surrey : Ashgate Publishing Limited, [2013].(F)HD6250.G7 C45 2013.

  • Dying to better themselves : West Indians and the building of the Panama Canal, by Olive Senior.Kingston, Jamaica : University of the West Indies Press, 2014.416 pagews, illustrations.(F) F1577.B55 D9 2014.
    Contents:  "To shrink the world by half" -- Part. 1. The Panama Railroad -- The Panama Railroad, 1849-1855 -- Part 2. The French canal -- The French canal, 1881-1904 -- Part 3. The US construction of the Panama Canal, 1904-1914 -- Who went, how and why -- What they endured, 1904-1907 -- The work they did there, 1904-1914 -- The lives they lived, 1904-1914 -- How they loved, laughed and prayed -- Part 4. The Post-construction years and the return home -- Life in Panama after construction ended -- What they brought back home. 

  • The filth of progress : immigrants, Americans, and the building of canals and railroads in the West, by Ryan Dearinger.Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2016].289 pages : illustrations, maps.(F)HD8039.C2582 U62 2016 and ONLINE

  • From the Tsar’s Railway to the Red Army : the Experience of Chinese Labourers in Russia During the First World War and Bolshevik Revolution, by Mark O’Neill.Melbourne : Penguin Books Australia, 2014.89 pages.(F) D521 .O53 2014.

  • Gleanings of freedom : free and slave labor along the Mason-Dixon Line, 1790-1860, by Max Grivno.Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2011.269 pages, illustrations, maps.(F)E445.M3 G74 2011 also ONLINE

  • Grounds for dreaming : Mexican Americans, Mexican immigrants, and the California farmworker movement, by Lori A. Flores.  New Haven : Yale University Press, [2016].   288 pages : illustrations, maps.  (F) HD6515.A29 F56 2016.
  • Industrialization and the transformation of American life : a brief introduction,by Jonathan Rees.Armonk, N.Y. ; London : M.E. Sharpe, Inc., ©2013.139 pages : illustrations. (F)HC105 .R44 2013.
    “Provides analysis of the profound economic and social changes taking place during the period between 1877 and the start of the Great Depression. Ten topics: varieties of industrialization, questions of labor, immigration, urbanization, the Westward movement, the environment, transportation, power, politics, and the organization of work, are examined with each subject illustrated by three case studies.”Catalog record.

  • Mining coal and undermining gender : rhythms of work and family in the American West, by Jessica Smith Rolston.New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, [2014] 236 pages.(F) HD6073.M62 U676 2014 Also ONLINE.
    A history of women in the coal mines of Wyoming.

  • Mother Jones : raising Cain and consciousness, by Simon Cordery. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2010.213 pages, illustrations.(F) HD8073.J6 C67 2010.
    Contents: Mother Jones and the American labor movement -- An Irish inheritance -- Leaving homes -- The making of Mother Jones -- Sampling the labor scene -- Organizing coal country -- Calling on President Roosevelt -- Defending undesirables, promoting socialism -- The coal war resumed -- Massacre at Ludlow -- Streetcars and steel -- Mother Jones of America.

  • National Farm Worker Ministry : mobilizing support for migrant workers, 1939-1985.Farmington Hills, Mich. : Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, 2014. 1 online resource (53,709 images).Online through Princeton’s catalogs.
    “This collection reproduces correspondence, reports, speeches, minutes; included are materials relating to the farm workers, poverty programs, Public Law 78, Braceros, labor camps, the United Farm Workers Union and the Delano Grape Strike.” Catalog record

  • On coerced labor : work and compulsion after chattel slavery, edited by Marcel van der Linden, Magaly Rodríguez García.Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2016].373 pages.(F) HD4871 .O52 2016.

  • Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America, by Richard White.New York:W.W. Norton, 2011.660 pages, illustrations, maps.(F) HE2751 .W55 2011.

  • Slave labor in Nazi concentration Marc Buggeln ; translated from the German by Paul Cohen.Oxford, UK : Oxford University Press, [2014].334 pages, map, charts.(F) D805.G3 B87 2014.

  • Sons of Molly Maguire : the Irish roots of America’s first labor war, by Mark Bulik.New New York : Fordham University Press, 2015.363 pages. (F) HV6452.P4 M63 2015.

  • We asked for workers : we got people instead : the UN international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families,edited byBeth Lyon. New York, NY : Open Society Foundations, [2016]. 251 pages : illustrations.(F) HD5855 .W4 2016.
    Deals with trafficked and other forced labor on a global basis.

  • We just keep running the line : Black Southern women and the poultry processing industry, by LaGuana Gray. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2014].  277 pages.   (F) HD9437.U63 S684 2014. 
    Contents:  Arkansas’s first boomtown -- I was a single parent I had to work -- I learned this you ain’t nobody! -- They don’t expect the human body to break down! -- They are about to outnumber all the different races.

  • Women’s factory work in World War One, by G.R. Griffiths. Stroud, Gloucestershire History Press, 2014.158 pages : illustrations.(F) HD6135 .G74 2014.
    Women in the work force in the First World War, from a British perspective.