Dr. Kim Scipes is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology and taught on the Westville Campus of Purdue University Northwest from 2004 to 2021, following different careers as a printing press operator (with over nine years in the printing trades), high school teacher, web publisher, and secretary.

He specializes in labor, both domestically and around the world, and is currently a member of the National Writers Union, UAW/AFL-CIO. He has been opening night and plenary speaker at global conferences in Canada, Germany, South Africa and Vietnam. Dr. Scipes has published widely in the United States and in 11 different countries around the world: he has published 16 peer-reviewed articles, as well as over 260 articles and book reviews for specialty and activist publications. (See publications.)

He teaches a range of interesting courses, taking a global approach and from a macro sociological perspective. Dr. Scipes has been engaged professionally at the global, national and local levels. He is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, serving from 1969-73, and fortunately staying in the United States during his time in the Marines; he became consciously political and “turned around” while on active duty.

Kim Scipes

Dr. Kim Scipes: Building a Network of Compassion in a World Waiting to Be United

The career and achievements of Dr. Kim Scipes were recently highlighted in the Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement.


Courses taught (over a two-year period) by Dr. Scipes:

  • SOC 100, Introduction to Sociology (this course is offered almost every Fall and Spring semester)
  • SOC 310, Race & Ethnic Behavior (this course is offered almost every Fall and Spring semester)
  • SOC 403, Developing Countries in a Globalizing World
  • SOC 404, The Environment and Social Justice
  • SOC 405, The Media, Social Control and Power
  • SOC 406, People’s Mobilization and Social Power (i.e., social movements)

Dr. Scipes has published four books to date, two monographs, an edited collection, and a compilation of past articles.

  •   2021. Building Global Labor Solidarity:  Lessons from the Philippines, South Africa, Northwestern Europe and the United States. Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books. This book is an effort to bring into one volume Dr. Scipes’ writings that have been published over the years in obscure journals, journals no longer publishing, solely on the internet, and some have not been published previously. These writings are from the period 1985-2020.
  • 2016. Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2016. This is a collection of articles edited by Dr. Scipes that covers a range of issues involved with building solidarity across national borders. Includes excellent articles by David Bacon, Bruno Dobrusin, Jenny Jungehuelsing, Katherine Nastovski, Timothy Ryan, Kim Scipes and Michael Zweig.
  • 2010. AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010 hardback, 2011 paperback. This is a critical study of the foreign policy program of the AFL-CIO, focusing on its development under Samuel Gompers and continuing until 2007. Dr. Scipes argues that labor’s foreign policy–which he describes as “labor imperialism”–comes from within the labor movement and not from outside sources, such as the CIA, the US Government, or the State Department, as other critics have alleged. Besides a general historical overview, Dr. Scipes provides case studies of AFL-CIO operations in Chile in the early 1970s, the Philippines in the late 1980s, and in Venezuela in conjunction with the 2002 coup attempt.
  • 1996. KMU: Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996. This is the first and only nation-wide study of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Labor Center of the Philippines, one of the most developed and dynamic labor movements in the world. Dr. Scipes traveled to the country six times between 1986-1994 and produced this monograph, but returned in 2015, 2016 and 2018 to do additional research with plans to update his book.

Dr. Scipes is currently updating his 2003 Ph.D. dissertation–Trade Union Development and Racial Oppression in Chicago’s Steel and Meatpacking Industries, 1933-1955–for publication. He completed his dissertation as part of his sociological training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Kim Scipes is listed on Research Gate, with details about his research.

Dr. Scipes has taught courses at Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was scheduled to teach courses on Sociology of Labor, and Qualitative Research Methods again in the Summer of 2019, having taught both of these at TDTU in the Summer of 2018, and having taught Qualitative Research Methods during the Summer of 2017. (For the latter, see article in Northwest Indiana Times.) However, Dr. Scipes did not teach in Vietnam during Summer 2019 as originally planned; lack of English-qualified students precluded this. The COVID-19 crisis kept him from teaching at TDTU in 2020.

Dr. Scipes was on the “scientific” (organizing) committee for the Innovations in Social Sciences and Humanities Conference 2019 which took take place October 4 and 5, 2019 at TDTU. Besides helping to select papers for the conference, he chaired a section at the Conference, and presented his own paper, “Innovations in Labor Studies: Incorporating Global Perspectives.”  He led the largest foreign delegation at the Conference.

See Conference Details

Dr. Scipes’ paper, with a change in the title to “Regional Aspirations with a Global Perspective: Developments in East Asian Labour Studies,” was published during 2020 in the peer-reviewed journal Educational Philosophy and Theory.

Bringing his experiences and training into the classroom, Dr. Scipes provides challenging and rigorous courses for his students. He was awarded the “Outstanding Teaching Award” for full-time instructors in the College of Liberal Arts at PNC in 2006-07 and the “Outstanding Faculty Engagement” award during the 2023 PNW Founder’s Day Celebration.