Winifred Poster, PhD

Labor Tech Research Network, Director and Founder

Washington University, St. Louis, ​International Affairs Program

I study feminist labor theory, digital globalization, and Indian outsourcing.  For the past two decades, I’ve been following high-tech firms from the US to India, both in earlier waves of computer manufacturing and software, and more recent waves of back-office work and call centers.  My focus is on the intersection of post-colonial computing with the political economy of service labor.  I’m curious how information communication technologies are changing the meaning of work, dispersing it transnationally, incorporating new types of workers, and reshaping identities. 

My training is in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley (BA) and Stanford University (PhD).  I have taught at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and currently at Washington University, St. Louis.  Internationally, I have held visiting positions at the University of Hyderabad in India, Linköping and Örebro Universities in Sweden, the University of Paderborn in Germany, the University of Toronto in Canada, and the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine.

My research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Center for International Business Education and Research.  Findings have appeared in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Gender & Society, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Journal of Developing Societies, Social Politics, Industrial Relations, Research in the Sociology of Work, American Behavioral Scientist, Gender, Sexuality, & Feminism, and International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Chapters have appeared in books from Stanford University, Cambridge, Sage, Routledge, Lawrence Earlbaum, Brill, Elsevier, Verlag, and IGI Presses.  Pieces have been reprinted in Uganda and India, and translated into German.  I have presented my work at international conferences in ten countries.  My article “Who’s on the Line?” has won awards from Emerald Management Reviews and the University of Minnesota. 

For More, See The Tabs Above for Activities and Publications