2020-21 Catalogs

Minor in Labor Studies

Director:  Michael Hillard (Economics) mhillard@maine.edu

Committee: Lydia Savage (Geography-Anthropology) lsavage@maine.edu

The minor in labor studies examines many aspects of work and workers but focuses especially on the relationships among individual lives, work, class processes and dynamics, and capitalist development. The minor in labor studies addresses the practical problems of work, workers, and their organizations as well as broad conceptual and theoretical issues including, but not limited to, the relationships among labor, work, and class; a critical examination of class processes and dynamics; a critical examination of capitalist development; the intersections of class with race, ethnicity, gender, and generation; and historical perspectives on all of these topics.

The minor is an interdisciplinary program drawing on faculty and courses from economics, geography, history, arts and humanities, and sociology. Courses provide substantive knowledge of these disciplines and will help to develop critical thinking and analysis skills, writing and oral communication skills, and social science and historical research methods.

Because nearly every individual and organization deal with employees and work, there is constant demand for graduates with understanding and abilities in this area. Students will be prepared for careers in the private sector, labor unions, social services, and all levels of government.

The minor in labor studies is available to students in any major within the University. Students wishing to pursue the minor must be in good standing with the University and submit a Declaration of Minor form to the USM Registrar's Office. 

Select five of the following courses (15 credits):

ECO 220 U.S. Economic and Labor History
ECO 321 Understanding Contemporary Capitalism
ECO 323 U.S. Labor and Employment Relations
GEO 202 Making a Living       
GEO 302 Gender, Work, and Space
GEO 303 Economic Geography
HTY 132 United States History Since 1877
HTY 357 The Gilded Age in America, 1869-1898
HTY 358 Early Twentieth-Century United States, 1898-1938
SOC 327 Social Movements
SOC 348 Sociology of Work
SOC 358 Sociology of Women's Work  

Of the five courses, one must be "history-centered" (chosen from among the following: ECO 220, ECO 323, HTY 132, HTY 357, HTY 358); one must be "contemporary" (chosen from among the following: ECO 321, ECO 322, GEO 302, GEO 303, SOC 327, SOC 348, SOC 358); and one must be "international" (chosen from among the following: GEO 202, GEO 302, GEO 303, SOC 327, SOC 348).

Finally, students can apply no more than 6 credits from their major toward the minor in labor studies.