Introduction to Labor Studies

III. August 7–11, 2023
Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.
to be announced

Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to the multidisciplinary study of organized labor and collective bargaining, with a primary focus on the United States. Recent years have seen an upswing in labor activism, including organizing campaigns and strikes at major American employers like Amazon, Kellogg’s, and John Deere, as well as by schoolteachers and other workers in the public sector. Students who are curious to explore such issues will find in this course valuable tools for understanding these and other related developments, and for situating them in the larger context of American labor history, the current framework of U.S. labor relations, and global movements for workers’ rights.

Each day of class will feature both a lecture session and a small group activity designed to introduce practical aspects of labor studies, such as how social scientists use data to analyze the economic effects of unions or how labor and management bargaining teams approach the task of negotiating a contract. The course is designed for high school students who may never have taken a class in economics or related disciplines but who are eager to learn more about what labor unions are, how they work, what they do, and what their larger impact is on society and the economy.


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Specific course details such as topics, activities, hours, and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.