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Department of Anthropology

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Vulnerable Workers, Human Rights & Social Justice

Why is so much work today insecure? Are all workers able to access their legal workplace rights? We examine the growth of precarious work, the ways that particular groups of workers are especially vulnerable to rights violations, and the actions workers, unions, equity movements, businesses, and governments are taking to secure greater social justice for these groups of workers.

Unions & Workplace Democracy

How democratic are our workplaces? Do workers have meaningful control over the decisions that affect their economic, social and personal lives? We look at unions as a major tool for giving workers real power and explores whether they can continue to do so in today's economy.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

Do our workplaces include all workers in equitable and respectful ways? We explore how inequalities according to gender, race & ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, citizenship status and indigeneity create barriers to inclusion at work as well as those strategies that overcome these barriers.

Work, Health & Wellbeing

Are our workplaces and living environments healthy and safe? We explore the impact of work on people's physical, emotional and environmental health and the strategies that ensure work contributes to everyone's wellbeing.

Latest News & Events

Labour Studies Visiting Speaker: Janice Martell

50 Guinea Pigs, 13 Rabbits, 20,000 Miners: The McIntyre Powder Experiment - Janice Martell, Founder, McIntyre Powder Project, Sudbury ON, March 23, 2017, 2:30-4:30pm L.R. Wilson Hall 1003

Mar 07, 2017

The Rise of Precarity

Published in Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation magazine, Education Matters (February 23, 2017), by Stephanie Ross. Understanding and navigating the emerging economic and social (dis)order

Mar 02, 2017

If Ontario is to prosper, the government must improve conditions for precarious worker

The School of Labour Studies Wayne Lewchuk gives his opinion on the province’s precarious-work situation and points out the limits of labour law.

Jan 30, 2017

Cami Ingersoll slashing 600 jobs, moving Terrain production to Mexico

School of Labour Studies auto-industry expert Brendan Sweeney (Automotive Policy Research Centre) was interviewed about GM laying off 600 workers at its Ingersoll plant in the The London Free Press, on CTV National News, CTV News Network, and CBC's The National.

Jan 27, 2017

'It could go on ... forever': Chronicle Herald strike hits 1-year mark

Labour Studies professor Stephanie Ross comments on the longest strike in Nova Scotia in a decade in a recent article by CBC News.

Jan 24, 2017

Commute from Hell

How are people affected when commute times become almost as long as a work shift? Labour Studies professor Stephanie Premji's discusses the impact of stressful commuting on work, home, and family life on the Jan. 9 episode of CBC Radio's Ideas On the Move .

Jan 09, 2017

B.A. Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies

We offer innovative, interdisciplinary undergraduate and degree programs in Labour Studies and Work and Society that are widely recognized as among the best in the world. Our undergraduate and graduate students have high rates of success in securing careers in labour law, community development, Industrial relations, health & safety, lawyer, mediator,  disability case worker, civil servant, community development, policy analysis, teaching, occupational health and safety, labour research and labour organizing.

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Hons.B.A. Honours BA Labour Studies

We offer innovative, interdisciplinary undergraduate and degree programs in Labour Studies and Work and Society that are widely recognized as among the best in the world. Our undergraduate and graduate students have high rates of success in securing careers in labour law, community development, Industrial relations, health & safety, lawyer, mediator,  disability case worker, civil servant, community development, policy analysis, teaching, occupational health and safety, labour research and labour organizing.

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Hons.B.A. Combined Honours BA in Labour Studies

We offer innovative, interdisciplinary undergraduate and degree programs in Labour Studies and Work and Society that are widely recognized as among the best in the world. Our students enjoy learning in a cooperative, intellectually exciting environment. In their classes they engage with the many and varied issues that animate our contemporary worlds of work: What are the barriers to gender and racial equality at work? Are our workplaces safe and healthy? What are the reasons for the growth of precarious forms of work? Can we 'green' the economy? What are the solutions to these issues? As they were in decades past, are unions a part of the solutions? We are a small program. Students get to know their professors. Teaching is very important to us. In the classroom we seek to inform, challenge and learn from our students. Our faculty are at the forefront of research and critical labour issues in Canada and around the world. Our staff is committed to providing excellent and friendly advice and service to our students.

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Minor Minor in Labour Studies

We offer innovative, interdisciplinary undergraduate and degree programs in Labour Studies and Work and Society that are widely recognized as among the best in the world. Our students enjoy learning in a cooperative, intellectually exciting environment

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M.A. Master of Arts in Work & Society

The prime objective of this unique graduate programme is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical approaches and practical policy debates that relate to working in contemporary societies around the world, as well as Canada. Courses focus on a broad range of work activities, from working for wages in primary, industrial and service settings, to the paid and unpaid work that goes on in the home and elsewhere. Regardless of the particular focus, work is to be studied as one component of life experience that includes family life, community relations, gender and race relations, politics and state regulation.

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Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Labour Studies

The PhD in Labour Studies is the newest component of McMaster University’s School of Labour Studies. The only such degree in North America, this program engages closely and critically with the issues of work and labour in contemporary and historical perspective. The program aims to develop a new generation of scholars prepared to contribute to research leadership in the academy, the community, policy arenas and organizations representing working people. As a small interdisciplinary program, students will enjoy strong mentorship from leading scholars in the field and benefit from the strong union and community connections of faculty.

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U.Cert. The Labour Studies Joint Certificate with the Hamilton & Brantford District Labour Councils

The McMaster School of Labour Studies offered its first certificate courses in 1976. We currently offer a Certificate in Labour Studies as well as two joint certificates in partnership with the Brantford and Hamilton and District Labour Councils.

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U.Cert. Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies Certificate

Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies courses are designed specifically for Unifor members. Education has an important role in building a knowledgeable membership and workplace leadership. The Unifor-McMaster program is designed on a learning approach that is built upon a commitment to participants that translates into respect for prior experience, skill and activism

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