Fall 2019 - LBST 101 D100

Introducing Labour Studies (3)

Class Number: 3949

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 12:30–2:20 p.m.



Introduction to key concepts necessary for understanding the character and organization of work in contemporary society. The discussion of such issues as how our society decides who works, what the work will be, and under what conditions people work, will be situated in the context of current debates, trends and issues. Breadth-Social Sciences.


In this course, we will examine the nature of work and class in Canada. We begin with looking at the concept of class and what it means to be working class. Then we move onto examining the history of working class organization in Canada and move onto an examination of the current state of the labour movement and working class politics. We will also look the contemporary nature of work and our economy. While our jobs often seem individual, isolated, temporary, even random, they are part of a global economic system, and so understanding work means understanding that system. We will think critically about work to better understand our own jobs, the Canadian economy, and corporate organization.


This course will allow students to learn about the labour movement in Canada. In addition students will come away with an understanding of how class operates in society. This course will also provide students with the basic vocabulary for understanding concepts in the field of labour studies.   The course will draw on students' experiences and research, and we will develop research, writing, and presentation skills through the class assignments. In addition, lectures, tutorial discussions, films, and guest speakers will provide the tools we need to understand the increasingly complex world of work and labour. We'll stress themes of social justice, technology, labour relations, and the work process, ranging from contingent labour to the boardroom.


  • Participation 25%
  • Midterm exam 35%
  • Essay 40%


Grading: The letter grade N (incomplete) is given when a student has enrolled for a course, but did not write the final examination or otherwise failed to complete the coursework, and did not withdraw from the course before the deadline date. An N is considered and F for purposes of scholastic standing. 

Grading System: Undergraduate Course Grading System is A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F, N (N standing to indicate the student did not complete).

A+ 95-100 B+ 80-84 C+ 65-69 D 50-54
A 90-94 B 75-79 C 60-64 F 0-49
A- 85-89 B- 70-74 C- 55-59  

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Carroll, W. K., & Sapinski, J. P. (2018). Organizing the 1%: How Corporate Power Works. Black Point, NS: Fernwood.
ISBN: 978-1-552668900

Ehrenreich, B. (2011). Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. London: Picador Books.
ISBN: 978-0-312626686

Ross, S., Savage, L., Black, E., & Silver, J. (2015). Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada. Black Point, NS: Fernwood.
ISBN: 978- 1 552667873

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html