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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Daniel F. Jacoby
BIS 327
Bothell Campus

History of U.S. Labor Institutions

Examines the evolution of the institutions that have shaped labor. Discusses indentured servitude, slavery, apprenticeship, schooling, wage labor, unions, and the laws that surround each of these institutions.

Class description

The realities of work in the US change substantially as labor institutions change. Major labor institutions include slavery, household labor, indentured servitude, the apprenticeship system, free labor, unions, schooling, and professions. We want to understand how these systems work and why they change over time. Finally, we'll want to consider how these institutions are relevant to us today, particularly how they relate to emerging global labor markets.

Student learning goals

Understand the extent to which work been central to the American experience

Know how class and market analyses differ when it comes to discussing American Labor history

Recognize the central institutions (law, unions, schools etc) that have shaped the labor movement and how their internal logics differ.

Are unites and what divides labor?

Recognize how the past informs the present.

General method of instruction

We'll use film, texts. discussion-lectures, and class projects. During class we'll relate popular and documentary film to themes and issues important to historians of labor and economics. Students will edit segments of films to illustrate important ideas and concerns.

Spring 2013 course taught as Hybrid (Wednesday face to face, Otherwise online)

Recommended preparation

While not required, a knowledge of history will make some of the reading easier.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Daniel F. Jacoby
Date: 02/28/2013