Fall 2017 - SA 362 D100

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

Class Number: 6850

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Deborah Dergousoff
    Office Hours: Mondays 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  • 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.


The past few decades have seen changes in the way different stages of the production chain are dispersed across the globe, leading to the notion of a new global division of labour. During the 80s and 90s the global division of labour was such that unskilled jobs were done in low-wage countries, while skilled jobs were done in more developed economies. Recent technological developments such as the internet have made it possible to efficiently relocate more and more tasks of the production chain abroad, including high-skilled jobs. Will these changes bring new patterns of inequality to both the developed and the developing world, or, do they hold the promise of potentials yet to be explored? How do issues of migrant and informal labor shape configurations of race, gender and class in transnational spaces? This course begins by examining formative approaches to understanding the division of labour and traces them to more current attempts to understand capitalism, globalization and the international division of labor. Of particular concern is the ‘agrarian question’ and the gendered dynamics of labour migration in interrelated processes of capitalist development. Central to this course is designing and participating in a World Social Forum simulation through which you will have an opportunity to explore the implications, alternatives and possibilities for social change and new configurations for the global division of labour. The promise and limitations of co-operative, social, and solidarity economy will be examined for their merit as transformational approaches in an era of intensified globalization. Creativity and innovation is encouraged in all course work.


  • Midterm 30%
  • Critical commentary (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Research panel: group presentation and participation 10%
  • Research panel: individual reflection/synthesis of proceedings 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 a 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.



Boatca, Manuela (2015). Global Inequalities Beyond Occidentalism. New York: Routledge
ISBN: 978-1138215573

Engler, Allan (2010). Economic Democracy: The Working-Class Alternative to Capitalism. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing
ISBN: 978-1552663462

Additional readings on reserve.

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