Fall 2016 - SA 362 J100

Society and the Changing Global Division of Labour (S) (4)

Class Number: 3449

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Sat, 12:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Maureen Kihika
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of the social and political implications of the global economy. Topics to be considered include the influence of neo-liberal economics, the decline of the national welfare state, transnational political agencies and public policy, the internationalization of culture, the global labour market, the 'world city' hypothesis, ethnic resurgence and alternatives to these developments.


Global economic restructuring is transforming the world economy, including the organization and global division of labor. This course invites students to explore the formation and ongoing transformation of a global labor force. The course aspires to provide students with a focused historical examination of how hundreds of millions of people were made into wage laborers from the mid-20th Century onward. In particular, we look at the history of “making” the wage labourer through events such as: wars, international agreements brokered, laws passed, lands privatized, education systems designed, loans given, new geographies built and others destroyed, in order to move society out of non-wage and subsistence agriculture, and into wage labor. We examine why, and by what means, capitalism’s main type of wage labor has spread across the globe and to what consequence. In doing so, the course will introduce students to how people’s lives have changed as their local labor markets have been transformed due to globalization and ‘development,’ shaping where and how they work, where and how they live. We will also look at organized responses to the transformation of labour.


  • Weekly summaries 10%
  • Roundtable Presentation 10%
  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • Analytical paper 15%
  • Take-home Mid-term exam 25%
  • Research paper 30%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology 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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.   



  • Course Pack
  • Material on Reserve
  • SFU on-line journals, Ebrary Books and websites to be accessed by students independently.


O'Brien, Robert and Williams, Mark. (3rd Ed) 2010.Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (pp. 14-29).

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