Summer 2019 - HIST 327 D100

Canadian Labor and Working Class History (4)

Class Number: 4355

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2200, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 101, 102W and 204.



An examination of the history of labor, primarily in English Canada, during the 19th and 20th centuries. The evolution of trade unions and labor-political movements will be examined together with the impact of industrialization, the rise of mass production, changing patterns of immigration and other contexts of working-class culture and material life. Special attention will be paid to British Columbia as a case study. Historically the course examines 'working class history' as a particular way of studying the past. What is the concept of 'the working class'?


The course will examine the history of work and workers in Canada. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and written assignments, we will consider the broad question of who is, and has been, the working class in Canada. We will focus on the similarities and differences in class experience between different periods of Canadian history, including the present. We will consider class struggle and how race and gender divisions have been exploited, encouraged, and exacerbated by employers and governments under capitalism.


  • Participation - based on weekly participation, attendance, and class activities, and completion of a media journal (ten entries, each with a copy of the news article/blog post and a 200-word analysis, handed in every two weeks). 25%
  • Reading Response Papers - 400 to 750-word personal reflections on the week’s readings, how they relate the course themes, and most importantly, your own experience. You will write two papers, and sign up for your week during the second tutoria 15%
  • Guided Primary Source Analysis Paper - an 8 to 10-page paper, analysing five primary sources with given secondary sources. 35%
  • Final Reflection Paper - a final reading response paper, reflecting on the entire course 25%




Registrar Notes:

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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.