Labor Studies

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What is Labor Studies?

In the U.S., one of the first questions we ask when meeting people is, “So, what do you do?” That’s because work—what we do for a living—plays a big role in how we think about ourselves and others. It tells us a story about race, class and gender that implicates our self-worth and that of others around us, and directly impacts our ability to provide for our families and communities.

In Labor Studies, we unpack these stories and learn what makes a job good or bad. We discuss historical and current efforts to improve working conditions here and abroad, especially for workers of color and immigrants. Our classes prepare students to work in the labor movement, in government, non-profit, and the corporate world as leaders and activists for change. Located in Southern California, we are in the vibrant matrix of the worker activity, and our classes reflect the interests of the region in immigration, race, gender, sexual orientation, media, and leadership.

Labor Studies at CSUDH was program was founded in 1977. We offer one of only two degree programs in Labor Studies at four-year universities in Southern California, and we offer a Bachelor’s, a minor, and a certificate.

Labor Studies is an interdepartmental program. This means that along with specialized courses in labor studies, students also take related classes in fields such as history, sociology and economics. Students thus acquire a solid liberal arts education, as well as extensive training in the more practical aspects of labor studies.

The Labor Studies Program offers a major, a minor, and a certificate program. Many of our classes--and all required for our degree--are held on nights, weekends, or online.

Designed with the assistance of state and local labor leaders, Labor Studies at CSUDH coordinates with programs at community colleges, such as Trade Tech, Harbor, ELAC, as well as with the UCLA Labor Studies program. We also work with the Dolores Huerta Institute's educational initiatives, and interact with the Harry Bridges Institute and other local labor centers.

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