This course explores the history, ideas, and politics of working people, broadly conceived, through Labor Studies. Labor Studies is interdisciplinary and intersectional. Though focused primarily on U.S. history, we will discuss how and why work is performed, organized and divided in societies, across time and space, within different countries, and different industries, and along lines of race and gender and other forms of power. We will consider how labor occurs everywhere under many conditions - at home, in the workplace, waged and unwaged, organized and unorganized. And we will discuss the history and politics of labor movements, including but not limited to unions, and how such movements have fought against oppression and hierarchy based on race, gender, sexuality, citizenship status, nationality, ability and more, in their particularities and their many intersections.
Students will be graded on short writing assignments (including reading responses), participation in sections, mid-term and final exams, and a final paper.
This course is a foundational requirement for the Labor Studies minor, and and contributes to the
Political Economy program of the Political Science major.