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Department of Anthropology

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Latest News & Events

Welcome Dr. Geraldina Polanco

School of Labour Studies welcomes Dr. Geraldina Polanco

Jul 18, 2017

Canada may be undercounting auto employment

Brendan Sweeney, Project Manager, Automotive Policy Research Centre, School of Labour Studies, has released a report analyzing thousands of public government filings for hundreds of business over the last two years that gives a more accurate picture of the Canadian auto industry.

May 10, 2017

Summer course: Work and Racism

Looking to pick up a course this summer? LABRST 2J03 - Work and Racism. Classes start Tues. June 20. Last day for enrolment Fri. June 23

Apr 28, 2017

McMaster researcher helping internationally trained scholar pursue her passion for research

McMaster researcher Stephanie Premji is working with internationally educated researcher and Insight Immigrant Scholar Momtaz Begum to build the networks and skills Begum needs to transition into a research career in Canada.

Apr 26, 2017

Windsor now home to Canada's largest manufacturing workplace

FCA Canada’s Windsor Assembly Plant has grown into Canada’s single-biggest manufacturing facility by employment, and Windsor-Essex has morphed into the country’s automotive “epicentre,” according to a new report.

Apr 25, 2017

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

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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