Fall 2020 - LBST 312 D100

Global Labour Migration (3)

Class Number: 2544

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Xinying Hu
    Office Hours: We 1:00-2:30 pm via Zoom and SFU email
  • Prerequisites:

    Strongly Recommended: LBST 101.



Global labour migration has increased substantially in the last several decades. What factors contribute to the current wave of labour migration? Which countries send and receive migrants, and what is the role of internal migration? What challenges do migrant workers face in their host countries? This course will examine these questions to uncover the nature, trends and impacts of this growing phenomenon. Students who have taken LBST 330 Global Labour Migration may not take this course for further credit.


The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of global migrant labour. In the past few months, the media, governments, and the general public have increased their awareness of the working and living conditions of migrant workers. However, global labour migration is a phenomenon that has been increasing substantially since the 1980s. The United Nations estimates that currently over 200 million international migrants, equivalent to 74 percent of the global migrant population, are of working age (20-64 years old). What factors have contributed to the recent global labour migration? Who is a migrant? Which countries send and receive migrants? What are the impacts of remittances from these workers on poverty alleviation and social equality? What challenges do migrant workers face in their host countries? What roles do nation-states, international institutions, labour organizations and migrant workers themselves play in improving migrant labour’s situation? This course will examine these questions and try to uncover the nature, trends and impacts of this growing phenomenon.

Throughout the course, students will use analysis related to globalization and migration theories to analyze various reasons workers migrate; and concepts of gender, race and class to analyze challenges that different migrant workers face. They will also explore how the current regional, national and global labour movement can include these migrant workers.


By the end of the course students will gain an understanding of the structural roots of the current global migration phenomenon, national policy and international standards on migrant labour, and also how labour organizations and migrant labour have attempted to develop strategies to build solidarity.


  • Attendance and discussion participation 15%
  • Presentation 20%
  • Midterm text 20%
  • Letter to the Prime Minister 15%
  • Research paper 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

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.



There is no set text or courseware for this course. All required weekly readings will be accessible via the SFU Library, Canvas, or public websites.


Marsden, S. G. (2018). Enforcing Exclusion: Precarious Migrants and the Law in Canada. Vancouver; Toronto: UBC Press.

This title is available for free online through the SFU Library here (restrictions apply).

Vosko, L. F., Preston, V., & Latham, R. (Eds.) (2014). Liberating Temporariness? Migration, Work, and Citizenship in an Age of Insecurity. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

This title is available for free online through the SFU Library here (restrictions apply).

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).