What is Labor Studies?
Labor Studies is an interdisciplinary field that deals with work, the workplace, workers and their organizations. It draws from the fields of History, Economics, Industrial Relations, Political Science, Law, Sociology, Communication, and Philosophy, as well as other disciplines. As an academic discipline, Labor Studies educates workers and future workers to strengthen the labor movement and provide a richer understanding of its functions in society.
The Department of Labor Studies enables participants to serve more effectively as members and leaders in their organizations. Participants can also gain a sense of the past and present contexts of work and unionism. Because labor leaders need to be familiar with economics, communications, labor law, social factors and other subjects, Labor Studies can assist in mastering a broad range of learning. Our faculty offer the essential tools for the advancement of trade unionism with the view that working people’s efforts to achieve workplace equity is central to the development of our nation and, indeed, the world.
Indiana University has been a leader in labor education for over 60 years and continues to pioneer innovative and quality educational opportunities in this field. Our credit courses are offered on all nine Indiana University campuses and worldwide, via online courses. The faculty members of the Department of Labor Studies bring academic expertise and valuable union experience to their instruction.
The mission of the Department of Labor Studies is to:
- Provide credit and non-credit university-level education for current and future workers to increase knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking about work and labor organizations within today’s global context;
- Broaden access to the university for working-class and other underserved constituencies, providing opportunities for life-long learning and college degrees;
- Collect, systematize, and create new knowledge in collaboration with our students;
- Examine the global socio-economic system and the impact of its inequalities on working people;
- Promote respect for workers and understanding of working class histories, experiences, perspectives and knowledge;
- Empower our constituents to be engaged citizens and social and political agents of change who will create a more just and equitable world of work.
The vision of the Department of Labor Studies states:
- Indiana University Labor Studies will be the leading, collaborative program in labor and work issues in interdisciplinary scholarship, education, training, and empowerment nationally and internationally.
It is within the parameters of this mission that we devote our energies to excel in education, research, and service. We offer our online and face-to-face courses for the Certificate, Associate, and Bachelor of Science in Labor Studies degrees. Also, students can earn a Minor in Labor Studies.
About the Department of Labor Studies
Labor Studies caters to students with diverse backgrounds and educational needs – from adult learners to traditional students – in the areas of work, the workplace, organized labor, labor and social movements, the impact of global markets, and changing institutions.
Labor Studies prepares students to assume leadership roles in the workplace and in communities. Labor Studies is designed as an interdisciplinary major for college students and working adults seeking a university-level education. Online Labor Studies classes are offered on all nine Indiana University campuses and face-to-face courses are offered on various campuses.
Department of Labor Studies Highlights:
- All Labor Studies courses are available online
- Students have the opportunity to study with faculty members who bring academic expertise and valuable union experience to their instruction
- Labor Studies provides opportunities for life-long learning and college degrees for workers, returning students, and traditional students wanting to build on past work experiences
- Labor Studies empowers students to be engaged citizens and social and political agents of change who will create a more just and equitable world of work
- Labor Studies promotes respect for workers and an understanding of working class histories, experiences, perspectives, and knowledge
- Labor Studies provides credit and non-credit university-level education for current and future workers to increase knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking about work and labor organizations within a global context