Jacqueline M. Zalewski, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology

I have ongoing scholarly interests in the growing contingencies workers face in their jobs and employment relations. This is because of my background. I grew up in Kenosha, WI. Similar to industrial-based cities in PA like Reading, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, a significant proportion of Kenosha's population worked in durable goods and automobile production industries. This was until the 1970s and early 1980s, when many auto and industrial workers in Kenosha experienced job loss. What happened to Kenosha's auto and industrial workers was part of a larger social and economic process scholars call deindustrialization. Kathryn Dudley (Yale University), a cultural anthropologist from the Kenosha area, does an excellent job with interviews of unemployed auto workers there. She discusses the shift from a "culture of the hands" to a "culture of the mind" in her award winning book The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Post-Industrial America (1994).

Through the 1970s, I grew up as part of the working class in Kenosha and this culture has had a significant effect on shaping my research interests in changes in work and organizations and technology in the workplace (a prime culprit in the reengineering of work, producing greater employment contingencies, and the job losses described above). For my master's thesis, I conducted ethnographic research of blue-collar temporary work. For my PhD, I interviewed information technologists and human resource professionals about the outsourcing of their work.

I continued doing qualitative research on the outsourcing of professional work and, in 2019, I published a book on its effects on social relations, culture, jobs, and professional work. It’s called Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed Up By Two Masters (2019), and you can view the book.

I have used my interests in changes in work to contribute to scholarship in academic and career advising with collaborator Dr. Leigh S. Shaffer. In 2018, our article “The Professionalization of Academic Advising: Where are We in 2010?” was awarded the first Leigh S. Shaffer Award by NACADA for significant advances made to the academic field of academic advising.

Because of my extensive background and professional interests in college teaching, pedagogy, and sociology, I have conducted three years of survey research on teamwork and collaborative learning in undergraduate Introduction to Sociology courses. My collaborator, Susan Brudvig (Professor of Business Informatics at Northern Kentucky University), and I are currently working on one paper—“Giving the Social (and Society) a Lift Using Collaborative Learning and Team Development Interventions”—with the intention of submitting to Teaching Sociology for publishing considerations. We have several other papers to develop following this one.

In collaboration with Drs. Miguel Ceballos and Susan Brudvig, I also developed a class-wide research activity—The Sociology Majors Project (SMP)—that examines the jobs, ongoing education, and professional careers of sociology alumni from West Chester University. The SMP activity was recently submitted to the American Sociological Association’s Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology (or TRAILS), was peer reviewed, and is now published there (November 2020).

Currently, I’m exploring other research possibilities in collaboration with Dr. Johnna Capitano (Professor of Management, WCU) that relate to management theory and newcomer onboarding in the flexible firm.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Organizations
  • Sociology of Work
  • Independent Study (e.g., sex trafficking, disaster, the military)
  • Sociology Internship
  • Urban Sociology
  • Senior Seminar

Current Scholarly Projects (updated Winter 2020)

2019 Book on “In-house Outsourcing” (internal outsourcing). 

My book on the “in-house outsourcing” of information technology and human resources jobs was recently published by Routledge (2019).  Link to the book’s webpage below:

Recently, my book was reviewed in Contemporary Sociology (November 2020).  Read a copy of the review .

TRAILS Peer-reviewed Publication (November 2020):  “The Sociology Majors Project,” Research on Sociology Alumni from West Chester University

In fall 2015 I began a research study on the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education of Sociology alumni who have recently graduated from West Chester University (WCU).  My colleagues Dr. Miguel Ceballos, Dr. Susan Brudvig, and I call our collaborative study “The Sociology Majors Project” (SMP).  As part of the curriculum in two of the sociology classes I teach (Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Work) students contacted sociology alumni from West Chester University to better understand the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education they pursue post-graduation.  This knowledge has been shared with the department, WCU faculty, current students, and alumni in a “career pathways framework.” 

There have been six “runs” of the SMP, through which WCU sociology alumni—Camille Lehr—added to our collaboration.  In summer 2020, my collaborators and I submitted the SMP to the American Sociological Society’s Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology (TRAILS)—an online database of teaching and learning resources—for publishing consideration. It was peer-reviewed, deemed an “excellent resource,” and is now published in the TRAILS database (November 2020).   


Research on Team Work and Collaborative Learning: Paper in Progress

In spring 2017, I began a research study on teamwork and collaborative learning in sociology and business informatics classes.  I am collaborating with Dr. Susan Brudvig in the School of Business at Northern Kentucky University on this research.  The results of our survey research will improve the composition, purpose, pedagogy, and student learning outcomes of teamwork and collaborative learning in courses across disciplines.

We have one paper in development and will be submitting it to Teaching Sociology for publishing consideration in fall 2020.  The working title of this paper is below: 

  • “Giving ‘the Social’ (and Society) a Lift Using Collaborative Learning and Team Development Interventions.”


Contributor to Investigating Social Problems, 3rd edition, A. Javier Trevino editor.  Forthcoming January 2021

In spring 2020, I completed a revision of chapter 10, “Work and the Economy” for the 3rd edition of Investigating Social Problems. It is due to be published by January 2, 2021. The link to the textbook is below:

Exploring Newcomer Onboarding

In 2019, Dr. Johnna Capitano (Professor of Management at WCU) asked me to join the Center for Newcomer Onboarding (CNO), a new venture she was developing with an origin in the management department.  Dr. Capitano and I are conducting preliminary research on one management theory.  And we are considering future research possibilities in the scholarly area of newcomer onboarding (e.g., newcomer onboarding in the “flexible firm” or in fluid interfirm relationships.  A link to the CNO webpage is below:

Areas of Scholarly Interest

  • Changes to the Organization of Work, Occupations, Professions, and Formal Organizations
  • Technology in the Workplace
  • Work and Inequality
  • Academic and Career Advising
  • Pedagogy on Team Work and Collaborative Learning

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