Winter Qr LABOR 480 – Labor Studies Research: Applied Research for the Labor Movement

LABOR 480 focuses on providing opportunities for students to work on collaborative and individual research projects benefiting local unions and worker organizations. Students will further develop research skills that can be utilized in and outside of academic spaces – including in doing research and policy support for unions, think tanks, and more. 

MyPlan course overview is linked here.

Course Description

How do our labor and the labor of others connect us to our communities? How can working people create plans to mobilize for social change? How do we understand who has power, and what that power means for working people and our communities?

Through this course, students will explore how labor research contributes to broader worker-led movements. To do that, we will examine power in working relationships, how policy impacts working people, and how workers can collectively claim power while participating in projects to support unions, worker centers, and other labor-focused organizations. 

This course will use popular education methods and utilize an ungrading approach. Students will complete an independent research project – a workplace or employer analysis, and a larger collaborative project partnered with a local labor organization. Skills students can expect to use or develop include basic data analysis (finding averages, summing, etc.) in Microsoft Excel, doing advanced internet-based research, including utilizing datasets through public and private organizations, conducting interviews, analyzing surveys, and submitting requests through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Public Records Act at the state and local level.

By Lily Burnstein (She/Her)
Lily Burnstein (She/Her) Career Coach