Fall 2017 - SA 429 E100

Sex, Work, and International Capital (SA) (4)

Class Number: 2556

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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

  • Prerequisites:

    A minimum of 72 units including SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



Through a program of focused readings, films, and case studies, this course examines the experiences of women in the Third World in relation to the global economy and reorganization of states and cultures. The course challenges conventional ways of thinking about everyday life in households and workplaces, and emphasizes that issues which may seem specifically third World-based are shared by many around the world. An awareness of this commonality helps us assess the balance of structural constraints and opportunities, and stimulates a discussion on the organization of alternative ways of living. Students who took SA 463 in 2003 SA 460 in 2003 and SA 360 in 2004 may not take this course for further credit.


This course offers a theoretical and thematic exploration of gender inequality, work, and the labour process in the context of current global transformations. We will examine the connections between global processes of economic, political, and cultural change on the one hand, and women’s actions and experiences on the other. 

We will focus on the following themes:

1) The meaning of “development”: What is it? Where should it be going?  
2) The importance of understanding the global dimension of development issues.
3) The transnational restructuring of capital and classes (as aspects of capital accumulation and class formation);
4) The reorganization of states and political alliances (conceptualizing states in relation to each other as well as in relation to civil society);
5) The dynamics of inequality, including those relating to capital, gender, race/ethnicity, and culture.

The course attempts to provide new insights into these themes from a historical comparative and global perspective on North-South relations. First, we look at the origins and diversity of the “Third World.” We then turn to a more specific examination of the relations between changes in First World countries and changes in the Third World. We consider the experiences of women in the “Third World” in relation to the global economy and the reorganization of states and national cultures. Assessing the balance of structural constraints and opportunities will be central to our discussion throughout the course. We ask how gendered inequalities affect the dynamics of long-term changes and the ways in which variation in these dynamics affects the well-being of women, men, and children.

Through a program of focused readings, and film materials, we examine a number of case studies. These studies show the diverse ways in which global economic crisis and state policies of restructuring are premised on unpaid and underpaid work done by women. The question of what happens to women as workers, mothers, and family members during this process of structural adjustment to a market economy is the main focus of this course. Specific issues include structural adjustment to a market economy; the current economic crisis and global accumulation; industrial restructuring and subcontracting (including the informal economy and homework); and households and the politics of sexuality. 


  • Written summaries x 2 (15% ea) 30%
  • Class presentation 30%
  • Critical journals 25%
  • Presenting the international news of the week 5%
  • Participation (details will be discussed in class) 10%


Students will receive an N grade if they do not complete any one of the following assignments: Two sets of written summaries; Class presentation; and Critical journals. An N is considered an F for purposes of scholastic standing.  

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.



Philip McMichael (2017) Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective (6th edition), Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge
ISBN: 978-1452275901


Yıldız Atasoy (2014) Global Economic Crisis and the Politics of Diversity, London & New York: Palgrave MacMillan
ISBN: 978-1137293671

Yıldız Atasoy (2009) Islam’s Marriage with Neoliberalism, London & New York: Palgrave MacMillan
ISBN: 978-1349361199

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