Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Twenty-First-Century Workers’ Education in North America: The Defeat of the Left or a Revitalized Class Pedagogy?

Document type Article
Author Roth, Reuben
Author Dolgon, Corey
Journal Labor Studies Journal
Volume 41
Date 2016
Pages 89-113


The main response (Mantsios 2015) to neoliberalism and the marginalization of labor studies in higher education has been the call for a “new” labor college—one that integrates “workforce development” and liberal arts, yet separates worker education from its working-class roots. This article interrogates the state of worker education and the impact of neoliberalism on various civic engagement efforts at colleges and universities. The authors argue for a critical reevaluation of workers’ education and labor studies programs, calling for organized workers to retake control of such projects to avoid the deradicalization of class politics now ascendant in neoliberal institutions.