Spring 2020 - LBST 101 D100

Introducing Labour Studies (3)

Class Number: 2988

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    SECB 1014, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2020
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Sherry Breshears
    Office: AQ 6080
    Office Hours: Mo 11:00-12:00, or by appointment



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.


This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the nature of work in Canada. Drawing from diverse sources and perspectives, we will explore ways of conceptualizing class and the organization of work. We will examine the labour movement in Canada along with other forms of collective organizing. Concepts such as equity and precarious employment will be examined in the context of contemporary labour practices. The course also provides an understanding of how ongoing colonialism continues to shape Indigenous and non-Indigenous experiences of work.


Course objectives are for students to:

  1. Understand key concepts used in labour studies
  2. Analyze relationships among class, capitalism, globalization and colonialism
  3. Understand how the labour movement developed in Canada and the current role of unions today, as well as other forms of collective organizing both locally and globally
  4. Draw upon personal experiences, self-directed research and critical thinking  to extend their knowledge about the nature of work and labour markets in Canada


  • Tutorial attendance and participation 15%
  • Written assignments x 2 25%
  • Midterm exam 25%
  • Final exam 35%


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

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.



King, Thomas. (2003). The truth about stories: A native narrative. Toronto: House of Anansi.
ISBN: 978-0-887846960

Ross, Stephanie, Savage, Larry, Black, Errol, & Silver, Jim. (2015). Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada (3rd ed.). Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing. 
ISBN: 978-1-552667873

This course will also utilize a variety of other readings and films. Readings will be available online and through the library reserve system. A list will be provided in the full course syllabus and on Canvas. 

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