Summer 2021 - LBST 101 D200

Introducing Labour Studies (3)

Class Number: 4944

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 11:20 AM

  • Instructor:

    Logan Masilamani
    Office Hours: Tu 11:30-12:30 via Zoom



Introduction to key concepts necessary for understanding the character and organization of work in contemporary society. The discussion of such issues as how our society decides who works, what the work will be, and under what conditions people work, will be situated in the context of current debates, trends and issues. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Labour Studies 101 is an introduction to the critical study of work, workers, and trade unions.  Work dominates most of our lives, perhaps now even more than in the past.  Most people will work for forty hours or more a week for forty or more years of their lives.  Many students attend university with the intention of improving their job prospects, and the second question anyone asks a new acquaintance is “what do you do?”  Yet work is rarely studied at university, and few courses examine the challenges working people face.  If you are interested in the topic of work, then Labour Studies 101 is a good place to start.


In this class, we will examine the nature of work and its history, the role of trade unions in Canada, what work looks like now and will in the future, and the concept of class.  To do this, we will read academic sociology and history, but also first person narratives and blog posts.  By the end of the course, students should understand the basic structure of work in Canada today, have some sense of the context of work globally, and will have learned important ideas about race, gender, trade unions, skill and deskilling, globalization, and many other topics.


  • Participation 20%
  • Reflexive essay **%
  • Group presentation 10%
  • Midterm exams (x 2) 40%
  • Writing assignment 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Labour Studies Program 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.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Ross, S., Savage, L., Black, E., & Silver, J. (2015). Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada (3rd ed.). Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Available for purchase (paperback, ePub, or PDF) through the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-552667873

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  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 ( or 778-782-3112).