All courses, arranged by program, are listed in the catalog. If you cannot locate a specific course, try the Advanced Search. Current class schedules, with posted days and times, can be found on the NOW/Student Dashboard or by logging in to SiS.
An introduction to the economic analysis of behaviors and institutions in the labor market: labor supply and participation, labor demand by firms, wage determination under different institutional settings, and gender, race or ethnicity as determinants of different labor market outcomes. The course presents microeconomic models, empirical findings and their public policy implications on topics such as minimum wage, affirmative action, social insurance programs, workplace safety, and subsidized day care.
Pre-Req: ECON.2010 Principles of Microeconomics
The evolution of institutions and their functions, and sources of economic development. The contributions of railroads, agricultural population growth, immigration, capital formation and technological progress to economic development. Other areas addressed: rapid industrialization and antitrust laws; evolution of financial institutions, the creation of the Federal Reserve System, crash of 1929, the depression of the 1930s, the New Deal and various banking acts, the labor movement, the growth of international trade.
Pre-Req: ECON 2010 Economics I (Microeconomics) or ECON 2020 Economics II (Macroeconomics).
Europe has been transformed in the last 250 years from an agricultural society to a post-industrial one. We study the processes by which this happened, from the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and early 19th century to the wars and depressions of the early 20th century and the collapse of the communist system and European unification in the late 20th century. Students learn basic concepts and methods of history and economics.
Level: minimum Sophomore standing.
This course explores the environmental history of early America and the
United States from the end of the last ice age (c. 12,500 years ago) to the
present. It examines the role played by nature as an historical agent as
well as the relationship between human communities and the physical and
organic environment. Course themes include evolving land use, the
environmental significance of industrial capitalism, urban public health,
resource conservation and wilderness protection, the impact of ecology on
public consciousness, as well as environmentalism.
Over the course of the 1800's, women developed numerous strategies for influencing American society and politics, even though they were unable to vote in most elections. This course will explore how diverse groups of American women formed organizations that acted decisively in the public arena. By analyzing women's social and political activism, we will see how vital civil society is for a functional democracy, and explore how change happens. Possible topics include women's activism in social reform, local and state governments, civil rights, labor organizations, charitable work, religion, and women's rights. Consideration will be paid to the differences among women in terms of race, class, and sexuality.
Pre-Req: ENGL 1020 College Writing II.
An examination of the emergence of the corporate and governmental institutions of modern America set in two turbulent decades of cultural and political ferment that involved both booming prosperity and the economic collapse of the Great Depression.
An exploration of the rapid growth of the American economy in the 20th century, including the evolution of the large corporation and the mass production assembly line. Particular attention is devoted to the ways in which immigrants, women, and the African Americans were affected by the rise of big business. The course also traces the decline of the traditional U.S. manufacturing base following the Second World War and the impact this had on the working class and their unions.
Provides a survey of labor history from the colonial period to the present focusing on the interrelationship between culture and work in American society and on the dynamics of technical and economic changes on the organization of work processes.
The course focuses on the experiences of women, men, and children who came to the U.S. from the colonial era through the 21st century. Their emigrations will be examined in a global context. Irish migration, the mass European migrations during the mid and late 19th /early 20th centuries, and post-Second World War immigration particularly from Asian and African countries are discussed. The Lawrence, Lowell, and Boston immigration stories are also considered.
This M.A.-level course introduces students to the history of enterprise in Latin America through four case studies and a research project. No prior knowledge of Latin American history is required or expected. Each of the case studies, including the students' own research projects on an enterprise in Latin America, will consider the wide range of factors that impact a business. These include infrastructure, government regulations and policy, labor, markets, and environmental concerns, among others. The case studies and readings may change from semester to semester, but will be representative of different time periods and regions within Latin America.. Throughout the semester, the class will also consider the historical legacies of each enterprise and how it continues to affect the region's economic and political development today.
This course, taken for 1 or 3 credits, may serve as a capstone experience for advanced students in the Work, Labor and Society minor, helping them to explore a work-related topic of interest while working closely with a faculty member. Projects that students complete for the Directed Studies will vary in length, scope, and topic, depending on how many credits are taken and which faculty member agrees to work with the student. What all projects will have in common is (1) a topic clearly relevant to work, labor and society (2) an emphasis on achieving deep learning through advanced study, and (3) the integration of two or more distinct disciplines, integrating these disciplinary insights in order to solve a complex problem or analyze a complicated issue.
This internship option allows students to take full advantage of the substantial links to the community that the UML Labor Extension program has built over many years of work in this region. The internship provides opportunities for students to learn through thoughtful engagement in community service, applying knowledge of work/labor issues gained in the classroom to the world outside the classroom. Students will be expected to spend a minimum of 100 hours during the semester at the internship site, and to have a designated supervisor on site as well as a faculty supervisor overseeing their work and ensuring it is a meaningful learning experience.
Pre-Req: WLS.240 Work, Labor and Society.
This course will focus on issues of identity and difference. We will discuss the ways in which group identities are formed and break down. We will discuss how differences are constituted and reconstituted. These issues are central to theories of race and gender, racism and sexism. Some of the questions which we will raise are these: What motivates forming group identities? How are they formed? How is identity used within oppressive social structures? How can it be used to transform society? Why do some differences make a difference and others don't? Can we choose our group identities? Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA).
The course explores globalization as the process of transformation of regional and national phenomena into global ones, analyzing its social, economic, political, and cultural aspects. Supporters view it as the progress of liberalization and democratization that develop peaceful international cooperation; critics see globalization as the expansion of the profit-seeking global corporations that abuse the less developed and vulnerable regions. The course readings include the works of Amartya Sen, Samuel Huntington, Joseph Stiglitz, and other leading economists, sociologists, and philosophers.
This course addresses the question of justice in regards to immigration policy. We consider a variety of views including Communitarianism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Democratic Theory. We will look at how these different positions have answered the following sorts of questions: Do we have duties to strangers of foreigners that are of equal weight to the duties we owe to members of our family, our circle of friends or our nation? Does part of the definition of "self-determined state" include the right to unilaterally reject petitions of inclusion from non-citizens? Does a commitment to equality demand that borders be open?
An examination of the politics of global economic relations stressing the role of international institutions, multinational corporations and other international actors on the policies of the nation-state.
We know that we are part of a global economy and that many of the things we buy and consume are produced in other countries. But what do we know of how they are made? Do we understand that there may be hidden costs in the price we pay for goods at the supermarket, in a department store? Understanding the nature of global trade is critical for us to be effective citizens in the world. Perhaps more important is that we understand how goods are produced and traded - what many think of as "fair" trade. The subject of Fair Trade isn't simply limited to the production and sale of coffee and chocolate. Fair Trade principles encompass environmental issues, human rights, and politics. Once aware of the ramifications of consumerism on all parts of the world, including the United States, people can make informed choices about the products they buy, the companies that employ them, and the political views they support. By the end of this course students should understand the major ideas and tools used to comprehend complex international and global trade relations. Students will understand the way in which goods are produced for global markets and the possible human and environmental costs such production entails.
A focus on the dark side of politics - political repression, including politically motivated imprisonment, torture, murder, and disappearance- and the struggle of critics to bring about change through non-violent and violent demonstrations, general strikes and armed resistance.
An introduction to the application of psychological principles and methods to the work domain. Students will develop an understanding of the individual, social, and environmental factors as they relate to organizational performance. Intended as an introduction to the field of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology, topics include personnel selection and evaluation, training and development, attitudes and motivation, leadership, group dynamics, diversity, organizational structure and climate, and job design and working conditions.
Pre-Req: PSYC.1010 Intro to Psychological Science .
This course will explore the challenges presented by the increasingly diverse workforce within the United States. Students will consider how work groups and organizations can effectively incorporate a diversity of perspectives. Students will consider issues of oppression, discrimination and bias, with particular attention paid to the situation here in the Merrimack Valley. There will also be some focus on personal awareness and the development of skills for addressing diversity concerns.
This course examines workplace and regional factors that shape the prospects for sustainable prosperity and worker and community empowerment. The course begins by reviewing recent trends in the distribution of income and wealth and the industrial structure of the New England economy. The historical dynamics shaping work organization and regional development are examined. Several industry case studies are selected because of their importance to the regional and national economy. The case studies provide focus for studying the strategic choices made by firms in mature industries and newly emerging regions; the basis of competitive advantage for Japanese firms and the response of American rivals; and the influence of the product cycle and regional institutions on capture or retention of emerging and mature industries. The final section of the course focuses on the prospects for sustainability of the organization of production and its environmental impact, incentives for skill development and technological innovation, and shared prosperity. A central course objective is to foster an understanding of the links between the workplace and region in the pursuit of sustainable development and shared prosperity.
This course provides an overview of occupational safety and health (OSH) policy and practice. It focuses on the legal and administrative vehicles, especially the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and OSH Act of 1970. I demonstrates the public health and business case for safety via case studies, The course provides an analytical framework for examining social, economic, and political factors in the recognition and control of occupational hazards and a management program for identifying and preventing hazards at the worksite. The course covers national and international workplace management systems as well as business and organizational management policies to ensure safety and how these are translated to effective practice at the level of a specific worksite.
The United States is frequently described as a country with a proud history of immigration. As a result, citizens and residents of the U.S. often identify their home as a nation of people who make up a melting pot country. While useful and insightful, the melting pot metaphor requires comparison with additional explanations of immigration and immigrant experiences. In order to provide deeper comprehension of the topic matter, this course offers sociological examination of immigration processes, laws, and debates. Three areas compose the main portion of class content: historical accounts and theories, legislation, and the social, economical, and political experiences of immigrants.
Considers organized action undertaken to alter the social position of a group. Organization, techniques of action, motivation of participants, and group ideologies are studied. Materials from historical, social, psychological, and sociological sources are used.
This course provides an introduction to the sociological analysis of gender in its intersections with sexuality, race, class, (dis)ability, and other identities and inequalities. The focus is on examining the role of gender across a range of social institutions, such as the family, workplaces, schools, and the media, in order to give students the tools to understand the material impacts of gender as well as associated cultural norms. Students will use feminist theory and sociological concepts to critically examine the concepts of sex and gender and to understand the ways in which individuals across gender identity and other identities are impacted. The course counts towards minors in Gender Studies, Labor Studies, American Studies, and Disability Studies.
This foundational course has two overarching learning objectives: (1) to give students basic empirical knowledge and analytical tools to understand the context of work in the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century and (2) to give students an understanding of how labour unions work, what has been their impact historically, and what their role is in contemporary society. The course will be explicitly interdisciplinary, drawing on readings from history, sociology, economics, political science, and psychology to offer and introduction to understanding work and labor through and analytic lens. In addition, the course will include a service-learning component in collaboration with the UML Labor Education Program.
In the United States, work is a fundamental part of people's identities, consumes huge amounts of our time and effort, is a vital part of our economic and social development, and is linked inextricably to gender, racial-ethnic, and class inequalities. This course will take a sociological perspective, challenging students to take a step back and look analytically at work, something with which most of us are intimately familiar.
With an eye on climate change sustainability, this course maps the social and historical dimensions of crisis and inequalities of food production and distribution. In addition to exploring food security's relation to sustainable food production, students will strengthen critical thinking, writing, and library research skills.
Pre-Req: SOCI.1010 Intro to Sociology.
Focuses on the phenomenon of social class distinctions with particular emphasis on social class in America. The approach is both historical and sociological.
Considers the spread of industrial society globally. Emphasizes economic, political and cultural changes in various parts of the world and in the USA.
Sociology (BA) majors only, or Instructor permission.
Social Policy and Inequalities is a semester-long course that analyzes the social policies in the United States and Massachusetts that address persistent and structural inequalities in education, health and healthcare access, immigration, workforce, and human services. We will pay particular attention to social policies that contribute to or seek to alleviate inequalities based on race, gender, income and wealth, sexuality and disabilities. The course will identify key features of policy development, implementation and evaluation and interrogate the underlying patterns of inequalities at each stage. The course will analyze case studies of policies such as those related to poverty and income inequality; affirmative action; education; workforce development and employment.