Fall 2017 - LBST 330 D100

Selected Topics in Labour Studies (3)

Global Labour Migration

Class Number: 2474

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Xinying Hu
    Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:30 pm
  • 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."


Global labour migration has increased substantially since the 1980s. In the world today, there are over 200 million migrant workers -- nearly three percent of the world’s population lives in a country other than the one in which they were born, and the number is growing. What factors have contributed to the current wave of global labour migration? Who is a migrant? Which countries send and receive migrants? What are the impacts of remittances from these workers on poverty alleviation and social equality? What challenges do migrant workers face in their host countries? What roles do nation-states, international institutions, labour organizations and migrant workers themselves play in improving migrant labour’s situation? This course will examine these questions and try to uncover the nature, trends and impacts of this growing phenomenon.

Throughout the course, students will use analysis related to globalization and migration theories to analyze various reasons workers migrate; and concepts of gender, race and class to analyze struggles that different migrant workers face. They will also explore how the current regional, national and global labour movement can include these migrant workers.


By the end of the course students will gain an understanding of the structural roots of the current global migration phenomenon, national policy and international standards on migrant labour, and also how labour organizations and migrant labour have attempted to develop strategies to build solidarity.


  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • Class presentation 15%
  • Mid-term test (in-class) 20%
  • Group (2-3 people) video project 15%
  • Research paper (2000 words) 20%
  • Final exam 20%


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.



  • Journal Articles. Access through SFU library computing ID.
  • Selected book chapters on Canvas. Access through SFU computing ID.
  • Articles on websites.


Leah F. Vosko, Valerie Preston, and Robert Latham (eds), Liberating Temporariness? Migration, Work, and Citizenship in an Age of Insecurity. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
ISBN: 978-0773543812

Patti Tamara Lenard and Christine Straehle (eds), Legislated Inequality: Temporary Labour Migration in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012.
ISBN: 978-0773540422

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