Labor Studies & Employment Relations

Work, Globalization, and Migration

Globalization—the international movement of people, goods, and ideas—is remaking New Jersey and the rest of the world on a daily basis. Immigration, outsourcing of work, and new types of work in an internet-connected world all have had a huge impact on American workers. As citizens and public policymakers struggle with how to protect labor standards in an ever more global economy, studying how other nations have maintained good jobs in open economies can enable you to help reshape our institutions to operate more effectively in a global environment.

Careers Related to Work, Globalization, and Migration

Immigration attorney or advocate. Although you must attend law school in order to become an attorney who specializes in immigration issues, a concentration in Work, Globalization and Migration can be a great way to prepare for law school. Other related careers include working in Worker Centers that help immigrant workers with their problems or organizations that advocate for immigration reform. You can often start these careers with a bachelor’s degree. We have had several students pursue internships for credit in Worker Centers or immigration advocacy organizations in New Jersey.

Labor standards certification specialist. American corporations are being pushed by labor and social justice organizations to certify that their internationally-produced goods are created in conditions that provide for human dignity. They need to be able to assure consumers that their suppliers are following the laws of the nations in which those goods are produced and that they are avoiding egregious abuses such as the use of child labor. Corporations sometimes employ labor standards specialists themselves. More often, they use third parties—NGOs or private consulting firms. After you complete your undergraduate degree with this concentration, you may also need to pursue specialized training programs or internships to explore all of the opportunities of this career path.

International labor organization, NGO, or government agency staff. Numerous supra-national, governmental, or nonprofit agencies address how globalization is affecting work. These range from the International Labor Organization to various international union federations, the World Trade Organization, and many U.S. government agencies. Our coursework, especially in combination with an internship, provides excellent background for this work, although some organizations may expect you to pursue additional legal or graduate training.

Globally-placed manager in an international corporation. Studying international/comparative differences in labor and employment relations is excellent preparation for being a manager who works in another nation for a U.S. corporation. Whether you are from the United States originally or are an international student returning to your country of origin, this concentration or minor can allow you to learn about a wide range of labor and employment relations practices in various countries, enhancing your ability to deal with employees in whatever nation you are stationed. 

What is required?

  • For the major concentration:

    To complete a concentration in Work, Globalization, and Migration, you must fulfill all the requirements of the major, including four courses from the course list below.

  • For the minor:

    To complete a minor in Work, Globalization, and Migration, six courses are required. You must take either Introduction to Labor Studies and Employment Relations (37:575:100) or Work, Society, and the Quality of Life (37:575:110), any four courses from the course list below, and one other course offered by the Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department.

  • Courses specific to the Work, Globalization, and Migration Concentration or Minor:

    (Must take at least four)

    37:575:301 Comparative Labor Movements
    37:575:302 Comparative Social and Labor Legislation
    37:575:320 Immigrant Workers and Their Rights
    37:575:335 Women and the Labor Movement in the U.S. and Globally
    37:575:355 Current Labor Problems
    37:575:361 Labor and Corporate Restructuring
    37:575:363 Labor and the Global Economy
    37:575:366 Asian American Workers in a Global Context

Department Faculty with Considerable Teaching or Research in This Area:

David Bensman, Ph.D., Columbia University
Dorothy Sue Cobble, Ph.D., Stanford University
James Cooney, Instructor, JD, Miami 
Janice Fine, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rebecca Givan, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Northwestern
Tamara Lee, Assistant Professor, Ph.D, Cornell
Mingwei Liu, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Cornell University
Carmen Martino, Instructor, MA, Rutgers
Sanjay Pinto, Post-Doc, Ph.D., Harvard
Saul Rubinstein, Professor, Ph.D.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tobias Schultz-Cleven, Ph.D, California (Berkeley)
Susan Schurman, Dean, Michigan
Saunjuhi Verma, Ph.D, Chicago