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Martha Attridge Bufton

Martha Attridge Bufton

The Eugene A. Forsey Prize


Martha Attridge Bufton, “Solidarity by Association: The Unionization of Faculty, Academic Librarians, and Support Staff at Carleton University (1973-1976)” M.A. thesis, Carleton University, 2013.

Martha Attridge Bufton’s study of unionization at Carleton University in the early to mid-1970s is remarkably comprehensive for an MA thesis. Though examining an understudied subject, her thesis is well situated within the existing literature on unionization at Canadian universities. Attridge Bufton also incorporates an impressive amount of primary source material, including oral histories. Her sophisticated analysis of the dialectical relationship between status and class makes a convincing argument about how status and gender contribute to, rather than impede, collective action. Her use of E.P. Thompson’s “moral economy” is innovative, and her analysis of white collar unionization in the context of a literature that focuses on blue collar workers is nuanced. There is much that still needs to be written about the history of employment in higher education in Canada, and Attridge Bufton’s work is a noteworthy contribution that furthers that cause.