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Course Descriptions: Fall 2013 - HTY 477: History of the American Worker

Instructor:  Elizabeth McKillen

Time:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00-9:50

Maine Department of Labor Mural by Judy Taylor

Description:  Tired of that job flipping burgers? Want to know more about the nature of work in earlier historical eras?  Interested in the labor movement, the “folks who gave you the weekend”?

This course examines the ways in which the “world of the worker” was transformed during successive stages of capitalist development and industrialization (1770-present).  It also considers individual and collective responses by workers to changes in their work, family, community, and political life.  Themes will include technological and managerial innovation and its influence on the lives of American workers; ethnic, racial, and gender divisions within the working class; working-class protest and resistance; the evolution of trade unions; the growing role of the state in mediating conflicts between capital and labor; the rise of public sector unionism; and the evolution of a global division of labor.

Meets the Western Cultural Traditions or Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives General Education Requirements.

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