In the Fall of 2016 Jason Budge wil begin graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the PhD program in Sociology. He plans on focusing on the Department's famous "Class Analysis and Historical Change" field of study, with an emphasis on "Marxist and other radical traditions of sociology".
Jason's thesis was a study of worker cooperatives. Here is the abstract from his thesis:
"This research paper compares the experiences of workers from cooperatively and conventionally owned firms in order to examine the ways in which workplace democracy and employee ownership affect worker happiness and fulfillment. Classical and modern sociological theories of alienation are revisited in order to better understand the worker experiences. Ethnographic research methods were utilized in this study, specifically seven in depth interviews with participants from six different workplaces. These six workplaces were taken from two industries in the San Francisco East Bay, pizzerias and bicycle shops. Based on the research findings, it appears that the cooperative and conventional workplaces both have their limitations, but that the workers in cooperative workplaces have found a meaning in their work that is missing from their conventional counterparts.