Labor Studies

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College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Description

The Labor Studies Program is concerned with the world of work, workers, and their organizations. It investigates the cultural, economic, and political forces which provide the environment in which people make a living. It is an inter-disciplinary program which combines broad perspectives with specific skills.

The program emphasizes the world of work from the view of the individual in the workplace, the labor market, and as a member of a work group or labor union. The roles of employers, government, and labor unions, as adversaries and cooperators in an increasingly competitive world, are covered. Courses combine analytical and practical elements, bridging academia with the world of work.

Contact Information

Charles Varano, Coordinator
Amador Hall 454D
(916) 278-6675


Total units required for Minor: 21

Required Core Courses (9 Units)
LBRS 100/SOC 176Labor and the American Social Structure 3
Select two of the following:6
Labor Economics
American Labor History
Labor Relations
Work and Occupations
Women and Work
Electives (12 Units)
Select four of the following:12
Introduction to the United States Economy
Employment Law
Industrial Psychology
Ethnic and Race Relations
Immigration Studies
Sociology of Globalization
Total Units21

Note: Electives may be substituted for some required courses with approval of the Labor Studies Coordinator.

How to Read Course Descriptions

LBRS 100.     Labor and the American Social Structure. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70 or 71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: GE AREA D, Writing Intensive Graduation Requirement (WI)

Introduction to the study of labor in the U.S., including the nature of work, characteristics of the work force, and an overview of contemporary labor and industrial relations systems within the framework of current U.S. economic and political developments.

Cross Listed: SOC 176; only one may be counted for credit.

LBRS 195.     Labor Studies Internship. 1 - 3 Units

Supervised work experience or research in relevant institutions providing an opportunity to apply classroom theories and principles to the "real world." Partial supervision may be supplied by host institution. Requires approval of the Labor Studies Coordinator.

Credit/No Credit

LBRS 199.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units

Individual projects or directed reading open to students competent to carry on individual work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Admission requires approval of the faculty sponsor and the Labor Studies Coordinator.

Credit/No Credit