Spring 2022 - IS 221 D100

Workers in the Global Economy: Globalization, Labour and Uneven Development (3)

Class Number: 1002

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2532, Burnaby



Explores how people experience paid and unpaid work in the global economy. Focuses on processes such as migration and economic structuring, and applies critical development studies and critical geopolitics to study labour and employment. Explores links between capitalism, urbanization and labour struggles. Examines labour internationalism and global labour rights. Students with credit for LBST 201 or LBST 230 under the title "Workers and Global Capitalism" may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course explores how people experience paid and unpaid work in the global economy and how that work is valued. In explaining the value of work it employs a global, historical perspective and centers on explaining how exploitation is reproduced in the global worlds of work by drawing attention to overlapping colonial inheritances and capitalist exploitation. The study of this global context will be connected, through a small number of specific case studies, with the local context we live in here in British Columbia. No prior knowledge of global labor studies, or of the labor movement in BC, is expected.


  • To introduce the field of global labor studies.
  • To gain an understanding of theories and approaches for studying work and workers in the global economy.
  • Students will learn how to read research on the global contexts that workers operate in while simultaneously connecting international events to our local context in British Columbia.
  • To understand the historical context in which the descriptive label of “labor” and “labor movements” came to describe groups of workers for whom this label was only one part of their intersectional identity.
  • To demonstrate and build competence in analysis through research and writing skills.


  • Class participation 15%
  • Reading reviews (2) 30%
  • Comic strip assignment 10%
  • Debate presentation and write-up 15%
  • Final exam (take-home) 30%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Taylor, Marcus and Rioux, Sebastien. Global Labour Studies. (Newark: Polity Press, 2017).

This textbook is available online through your library. Links to the textbook and other required readings will be shared with you over Canvas. You are not required to buy any material for this course.

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.