Fall 2017 - LBST 328 D100

Labour Geographies (3)

Class Number: 7896

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units; LBST 101 or GEOG 221.



Examines contemporary debates in Labour Geography and geographical approaches to work and employment. Lectures explore the relationships between space, place and labour market change in the context of globalization and uneven development. Students with credit for GEOG 328 may not take this course for further credit.


Labour Geographies introduces students to geographical approaches to work, employment and labour markets. Labour geographies start from the perspective that workers’ experiences and agency are central to understanding processes like colonialism, uneven development, globalization and neoliberalism. Labour geographers build on insights from geographical political economy, Marxism, feminism and post-structuralism to explore the answers to questions such as: how do working people shape spaces and places of labour and employment? How do workers’ struggles produce their own "spatial fixes"? How are geographies of global production, reproduction and migration reshaping labour markets in the global North and global South? And how does a geographical approach to Labour Studies help us understand technological change and precarity?


Students will be introduced to the history and evolution of Labour Geography in response to critiques of geographies of labour and employment. They will also gain an understanding of critiques of, and challenges to, Labour Geography from more diverse labour geographies. Students will learn how to analyze geographical approaches and concepts, and apply them real-world issues affecting workers and their communities.


  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • Short written assignments (x2) 15%
  • Mid-term exam 30%
  • Final research paper 45%


This course requires a close engagement with assigned texts, participation in class through presentations and discussion, and the completion of assignments, including a final research paper. The course includes a field trip to downtown Vancouver* and will include visits from external speakers.

*LBST/GEOG 328 has an optional field trip and related assignment that may require travel by vehicle, public transit, or foot during the scheduled class hours. Students who do not wish to, or are unable to, participate in the fieldtrip will be provided with an alternative assignment. Further details can be obtained from the instructor.


All assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade to be assigned.  The Morgan Centre for Labour Studies follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic honesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01-S10.04).  It is the responsibility of the students to inform themselves of the content of these policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



There are no required texts for this course, which utilizes books, articles, films and other media to explore labour geographies in a global context. A complete list of readings will be provided in the full syllabus and made available on Canvas and on reserve at the SFU library.


These texts will be used, along with a selection of articles and book chapters, throughout the course:

Castree, N. et al (2004) Spaces of Work: Global Capitalism and Geographies of Labour. London: Sage.

Herod, A. (2001) Labor Geographies: Workers and the Landscapes of Capitalism. New York: The Guilford Press.

McGrath-Champ, S. et al. (eds.) (2010) Handbook of Employment and Society: Working Space. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar

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