What is Labor Studies

Labor Studies is an interdisciplinary field that deals with work, the workplace, and 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.

As a Department, 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, and other subjects, Labor Studies can assist them in mastering a broad range of learning. Our faculty teaches 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. Our credit courses are offered on nine Indiana University campuses and worldwide, via Internet classes. The faculty members of the Labor Studies Program bring academic expertise and valuable union experience to their instruction.