This study examines the simultaneous strikes at Klein's and Ohrbach's department stores in New York City's Union Square during the Great Depression. It argues that a cultural analysis of strikes can provide for greater understanding of the cultural and social environment in which the strikes take place. In particular, the study suggests that a cultural reading of these two strikes provides information about the label "white-collar worker" as a form of working-class identity, about Union Square as a contested space during the mid-1930s, about downscale stores as contested spaces during this same era, and about communism and communist understandings of female gender roles in the period just before the Popular Front.

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pp. 149-164
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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