Spring 2015 - LBST 330 D100

Selected Topics in Labour Studies (3)

Class Number: 4054

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 13, 2015: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2015
    Sat, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Strongly recommended: LBST 101 and/or 301.



The study of issues related to work and/or trade unions not offered in regular courses. Students who have completed special temporary topics course LBST 389 cannot complete this course for further credit when it is offered as "Studying Labour Through Film."


This course explores labour issues in reform-era China. In relation to China’s accelerated integration with the global market, this course examines the impacts of China's economic and social transition on labour in both urban and rural areas. It will focus on how state policy changes under a market-oriented economy affect the distinct experiences of male and female labour in different geographical areas.

The course will focus on labour issues related to different groups of workers, such as urban-based workers, unemployed workers, rural migrant workers, and agricultural workers. Throughout the course both gender and class will form the basis of an analysis to understand the transition and economic development policies in various historical periods in China. In so doing, we will question assumptions about the nature of social reproduction in each era, and analyze current economic development paths in China. Through feminist perspectives and labour economic theories, this course will come to an interdisciplinary understanding of the course themes.


By the end of the course, students will gain an understanding of how economic reforms in China has affected labour, as well as the changing structure and conditions of labour in contemporary China.


  • Attendance: 5%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Group Work and Presentation: 25%
  • Mid-term Test: 20%
  • Research Paper (10-12 pages): 40%


Completion of course requires all of the above.


All students are expected to read SFU’s policies concerning academic honesty and student conduct (S 10.01 - S10.04). The policies can be read at this website: www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html



• Journal Articles and ebook chapters. Access through SFU computing ID.

• Selected book chapters on Canvas. Access through SFU computing ID.

• Articles on websites.


Barry Naughton, The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. (Cambridge; London: The MIT Press, 2007).

Lee, Ching Kwan (ed), Working in China: ethnographies of labor and workplace transformation (Routledge, 2007) 

Tim Pringle, Trade Unions in China: the Challenge of Labour Unrest. (Routledge, 2011).

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/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