Spring 2016 - HIST 327 D100

Canadian Labor and Working Class History (4)

Class Number: 4126

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SECB 1010, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 101, 102W and 204.



An examination of the history of labor, primarily in English Canada, during the 19th and 20th centuries. The evolution of trade unions and labor-political movements will be examined together with the impact of industrialization, the rise of mass production, changing patterns of immigration and other contexts of working-class culture and material life. Special attention will be paid to British Columbia as a case study. Historically the course examines 'working class history' as a particular way of studying the past. What is the concept of 'the working class'?


The course will examine the history of work and workers in Canada. Through a combination of lectures, films, examination of primary documents, small assignments, and class discussions we will consider the history of class struggle in Canada. We will examine how class, race, and gender divisions were exploited by employers and government to maintain hegemony. We will also consider the role of workers in the struggle for social and economic justice.


  • Participation (based on weekly participation, attendance and class activities) 25%
  • Written Assignments (short papers including media analysis/primary source) 30%
  • Research Project (research paper) 45%



Craig Heron, The Canadian Labour Movement: A Short History, 3rd edition (Lorimer Publishing, 2012)

Michael Zweig, ed. What’s Class Got To Do With It? American Society in the Twenty-First Century (Ithaca and London, ILR and imprint of Cornell University Press,2004)

Ian Milligan, Rebel Youth: 1960s Labour Unrest, Young Workers, and New Leftists in English Canada

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