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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Work, Organisations and Society

Unit code SOCY10912
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


1. Introduction: The Sociology of Work
2. Time, Space and Discipline: the Emergence of Modern Work
3. The Division of Labour, Taylorism and Fordism
4. Karl Marx: Work and Capitalism
5. Emotional Labour
6. Unemployment and Workfare
7. Domestic Labour and the Politics of Housework
8. Post-Fordism and Globalisation
9. Low-Wage Work in the Global Economy
10. Conclusion and Revision


This course introduces students to the sociology of work and workplace organisation in the global economy. It covers themes from rationalisation and the organisation of time, to emotional labour, unemployment, domestic labour, and globalisation. The course considers both global trends and specific features of contemporary work, and places work in the context of the movement from Fordist models of production and consumption to post-Fordism. The lectures include a film component to illustrate each week's theme and to introduce students to the critical analysis of popular film.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will:
- Have introductory knowledge of the sociology of work.
- Have developed knowledge of some of the key aspects of contemporary work.
- Be developing an understanding of the move from Fordist to post-Fordist forms of work.
- Have developed a critical sense of the relation between work and culture.

Teaching and learning methods

2 hour weekly lecture
1 hour weekly tutorials

Assessment methods

Two compulsory non-assessed tutorial essays (5% deducted from final mark for each non-completion). Final mark derived from 2 hour examination in May/June.

Feedback methods

All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Grint, K. (2005) The Sociology of Work, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicholas Thoburn Unit coordinator

Additional notes

2015/16 timetable

Wednesday 11:00 - 13:00, plus a separate one-hour tutorial (range of times available)

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