About the Center for Labor Studies

Photograph of a labor protestThe Center for Labor Studies at UC Santa Cruz, founded in 2007, is dedicated to the study of working people, the labor movement, and the challenge of the broader global economy as it impacts the working people of California and beyond. Through research, conferences, workshops, public lectures, and a range of guest speakers, we focus, in particular, on the relationship between the labor movement (broadly defined), social movements, and democratic practices; on gender, race, and ethnic dynamics; and on labor activism in international context. We also address a wide spectrum of questions related to the nature of work, employment, and working people’s lives in the U.S. and beyond. Our goal is to serve UCSC students, staff, and faculty while reaching out to the broader community of the Central Coast of California and beyond.



Steven McKaySteven McKay is Associate Professor of Sociology, and Associate Director of the Center for Global, International, and Regional Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his PhD in Sociology and his MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research interests include work and global labor markets, transnational migration, masculinity, racial formation, and Southeast Asia. He is author of Satanic Mills or Silicon Islands: The Politics of High Tech Production in the Philippines (2006 ILR/Cornell University Press), and co-editor of the book New Routes for Diaspora Studies (2012 Indiana University Press). He is currently working on a new book based on the development of labor niches in contemporary global shipping, entitled Born to Sail? Race, Masculinity and the Making of Filipino Seafarers. He is also co-principal investigator of two community-initiated, student-engaged research projects: Working for Dignity: the Santa Cruz County Low-Wage Worker Study and No Place Like Home: the Affordable Housing Crisis Study of Santa Cruz County.

Affiliated Faculty

Eva Bertram (Politics)
David Brundage (History)
Dana Frank (History)
L.S. Kim (Film and Digital Media)
MaryBeth Pudup (Community Studies)
Catherine Ramirez (Latin American and Latino Studies)
Pat Zavella (Latin American and Latino Studies)