Complete Story

KEOHANE, Jennifer

Spring 2016, 46.1, pages 65-87

“Honest Toil”: Labor, the Body, and Citizenship in the Knights of Labor, 1880-1890

Abstract: In this essay, I analyze anti-Chinese rhetoric produced by the Knights of Labor to explore how labor functions as a performance of citizenship. I argue that Knights deployed citizenship as an embodiable topos, using the physicality of labor as a channel to claim inclusion in the national polity despite their marginalized class status.

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