2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

What Unions Do

NEW! Last Updated: 03/30/2009

Spring quarter

Faculty: Sarah Ryan labor studies

Faculty Signature Required: Students registering for 16 credits must meet with the faculty to arrange an internship.

Major areas of study include labor history, industrial relations, and comparative labor studies.

Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.

Note: This 8-credit program will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Up to five students may enroll for 16 credits which will involve internships with local labor organizations in addition to the 8-hour Saturday class. First class meets in Sem 2 D3105.

Are labor unions obsolete organizations? Or are they vital to a democratic society?

American unions’ numerical strength is beginning to rebound following many decades of decline. Although they are still considered an important force in politics, they remain a mystery to many people who associate them with their parents’ and grandparents’ work lives but not their own. This program will look into the basics of why unions are organized and how they work. We will consider the future of unions in a quickly-changing system of global production. Is international unionism possible? What are unions like in China, and how are they responding to the rapid political and economic change there? We will also delve into some of the more controversial questions about labor organization. Do unions speak for all working people or only for their own members? Are they democratic organizations? Do they have power through inclusiveness or exclusivity? How have they played a role in defining our concepts of justice? What kind of economy do they promote?

Credits: 8 or 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 20

Internship Possibilities: For five students, with faculty approval and signature

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in labor studies, political economy, history, public administration, and management.

Planning Units: Society, Politics, Behavior and Change, 8-12 Credit Programs

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 23rd, 2009 Class location added.
March 30th, 2009 Class location changed.