Spring 2021 - IS 221 D100

Workers in the Global Economy: Globalization, Labour and Uneven Development (3)

Class Number: 5743

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM



Explores how people experience paid and unpaid work in the global economy. Focuses on processes such as migration and economic structuring, and applies critical development studies and critical geopolitics to study labour and employment. Explores links between capitalism, urbanization and labour struggles. Examines labour internationalism and global labour rights. Students with credit for LBST 201 or LBST 230 under the title "Workers and Global Capitalism" may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course explores how people experience paid and unpaid work in the global economy and how that work is valued. It looks at how the nature of work and the employer-employee relationship has changed in the contemporary world with the advent of technology and new ways of “doing” work. Focusing on processes such as migration and economic restructuring this course applies critical development studies and a historical perspective, drawing attention to colonial inheritances, imperialism and exploitation in understanding the position of workers in the contemporary global economy.

This course will be conducted synchronously via Zoom, but the lectures will be recorded. There will be an option for asynchronous participation.


  • Class Participation 15%
  • Reading Reviews (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Debate presentation and write-up 20%
  • Check-in with instructor to discuss choice of question for final exam 5%
  • Final Exam (take-home) 30%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



This (see below) is the main textbook for this course. The course book is available online through your library. Links to the textbook, as well as additional readings, will be circulated over Canvas.

Taylor, Marcus and Rioux, Sebastien. 2018. Global Labour Studies. (Newark: Polity Press, 2017).

*all additional readings will be circulated over canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).