Dan Clawson's research focuses on labor movements and labor policies in the United States, and their impact on the well-being of families. Dr. Clawson's research is very widely cited and well received outside academic circles, as well as having had an immense impact within his discipline. He has served as president of the faculty union and the Massachusetts Society of Professors (affiliated with the National Education Association), and as editor of the journal Contemporary Sociology and co-editor of the Rose Series in Sociology.
He is a former national chair of Scholars, Artists, and Writers for Social Justice (SAWSJ), which worked to connect intellectuals and the labor movement, and was chair of the Labor and Labor Movements section of the American Sociological Association. His sole, co-authored or edited books include Unequal Time: Gender, Class, and Family in Employment Schedules (2014), The Next Upsurge: Labor and the New Social Movements (2003), Families at Work: Expanding the Bounds (2002), Dollars and Votes: How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy (1998), Required Reading: Sociology's Most Influential Books (1998), Money Talks: Corporate PACs and Political Influence (1992) and Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry 1860-1920 (1980). His articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Annual Review of Sociology, New Labor Forum, Social Problems, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, Contexts, Industrial and Labor Relations Review and numerous other journals. His most recent book, with Naomi Gerstel, examines job hours and schedules in four health care occupations (physicians, nurses, nursing assistants and EMTs), and the ways workers do or do not contest those hours. He and Gerstel were selected to be a resident fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation for their project "Inequality in Work Hours and Schedules" during 2011-12.