Kathleen Griesbach

Kathleen Griesbach


Off the Clock: Uncertain Schedules and Contingent Worker Experiences in Urban and Rural Contexts.

Dissertation Review Committee


Kathleen studies work and inequality. Her dissertation explores how contingent workers navigate instability in light of both ongoing economic transformations and enduring inequality in the labor process. While we tend to associate instability with the recent rise of on-demand “gig” work and the decline of traditional employment, many kinds of work have long been unstable. Kathleen’s dissertation investigates how workers across this spectrum navigate uncertain work schedules and landscapes: not knowing when, for how long, or where they will have work. Her dissertation draws on interviews with 120 workers: agricultural and oil and gas workers in Texas, long-defined by seasonal uncertainty and market fluctuation, respectively; and on-demand delivery workers and adjunct instructors in NYC, typifying the rising gig economy. First, she explores the forces impinging on workers, unpacking the temporal, geographical, and financial challenges workers confront and the interconnected social experiences of work, home, and the boundaries between them. Then she examines how workers manage the present in light of an uncertain future, in both their actions and in the stories that they tell. Having shown the high cost of risky, unstable work across structural contexts, she outlines several policy implications to address the diversity of precarious work.


  • MA, MPhil, Columbia University (Sociology)
  • MA, UC San Diego (Latin American Studies)
  • BA, New York University (Latin American Studies and English)


  • Griesbach, Kathleen. 2018. “Dioquis: Being without doing in the migrant agricultural labor process” (Article). Ethnography. Forthcoming in print.

    Caron, Cathleen, Kathleen Griesbach, Ursula Roldan & Roxanne Sandoval. “Guatemala’s Implementation of the ICRMW: Emerging Effects” (Book Chapter). 2018. In Shining New Light on the UN Migrant Worker Convention.  Pretoria, South Africa: Pretoria University Law Press.

    Griesbach, Kathleen.  “Local-Federal Immigration Enforcement in North Carolina: Mapping the Criminal-Immigration Overlap” (Article). 2011. Norteamérica: Revista Académica del CISAN-UNAM 6.

    García, Angela, Kathleen Griesbach, Jessica Andrade, Cristina González, and Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa. 2011.  “Pressure from the Inside: The Effects of State-Level Immigration Policies for Tlacuitapenses in Oklahoma and California” (Book Chapter). In Recession without Borders: Mexican Migrants Confront the Economic Downturn edited by David FitzGerald, Rafael Alarcon, and Leah Muse-Orlinoff. La Jolla, CA and Boulder, CO: CCIS and Lynne Rienner Publishers.

    Other Research

    Grocery Delivery Workers Project



  • Social Theory (Undergraduate). 2018 Summer.
  • The Social World (Undergraduate). 2017 Summer.

Teaching Assistant

  • Sociology of Work and Gender (Undergraduate). 2018 Spring. Professor Teresa Sharpe.
  • Designs of Social Research (Ph.D.). 2017 Fall. Professor Joshua Whitford.