Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies/History Department

LHCS 412/Hist 401: Latino/as in US Labor and Working Class History

Dr. A. Lauria-Santiago
Contact Info

New item!Means new item!


This course will examine the presence and experience of working class people of Latin American descent in the history of the United States and its colonial dependencies. By looking at different aspects of working class history in both rural and urban contexts including different forms of labor organizing, work sites, and regional and ethnic contexts, we will examine the rich and diverse experiences that connected Latin American and Caribbean immigrants and long-established hispanic ethnic/racialized communities to a larger, multi-ethnic US labor history since the 1850s. The course will focus on aspects of working class history that have long been part of working class studies, as well as some newer more interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches: the immigration process, the labor process, organizing, land tenure, ethnic conflict, the tensions between culture and class-based approaches, the formation of working class communities, dual labor markets and discrimination, left politics and worker struggles, the dissapearance of work and ghetto-formation, the racialization of Latino workers, and the decisive power-yielding and gatekeeping functions of the dominant anglo institutions and the state.


This course has very straightforward requirements:


The following books are should be ordered from Amazon or another discount retailer of books.  Other readings not ordered by the bookstore are available on electronic reserves at Kilmer Library.


9/6 Week 1:   Latinos and US Labor and Working Class History: An Introduction

9/27 Week 4: 1900-1930  Industry, Railroads and New Communities West and Midwest

10/4 Week 5:  Early Twentieth Century Caribbean Workers and Artisans in New York City

10/11 Week 6: The Depression

10/18Week 7: War, Braceros, and Great Migrations, 1940-1960s


10/25 Week 8: Earning a Living in the Big Cities: Los Angeles

11/15 Week 11: Local Experiences of Migration and Work

12/13 New item!Week 14: New Work Regimes, Labor Organizing since the 1980s