Work plays a fundamental role in our societies. It is a central input in the production of goods and services that requires energy and other resources, and leads to the creation of income that is needed for consumption. With multiple challenges – like environmental catastrophes, rising inequality, and economic crises – around the corner, as well as rapid technological change, what is and what could be the role of work in societies?
In this class we will assess how work is connected to issues around sustainability, and if work can be sustainable. These questions will be considered as part of the following topics:
- Limits to growth, decoupling, and green growth
- Who suffers and who benefits from pollution?
- The link between growth and employment
- Working time reduction and sustainability
- Inequality, hours worked, and consumerism
- Organised labour and trade unions
- The imperial mode of living and global labour relations
- Gender and work
- Postwork and critiques of work
On successful completion of the course, students will know:
- About the links between growth, resource use, and employment, as well as working time reduction and employment.
- How income inequality leads to an increase in hours worked and goods consumed.
- Various other topics central to the field of “sustainable work”, including the international dimension of work and the global labour footprint.
- How gender and class oppression are reflected in work and labour.
- Critiques of work and the concept of "postwork".
- How to read academic articles, and hear about different empirical approaches and some of their advantages and limitations.
Examination-immanent courses (PI) have compulsory attendance.
In case of absence the lecturer is to be informed in advance if possible.
More detailed regulations on absenteeism will be explained in the first unit.
Course enrollment is on the basis of "first-come, first-served” principle. If you have registered but cannot participate in the course, please de-register via LPIS during the registration period so that your course is available to students on the waiting list.
If there is a waiting list for enrollment in the course, students at the waiting list will be notified after the end of the enrollment period, and will be allocated to available places. Students will be ranked by their study progress not by their rank on the waiting list.
This procedure, however, is not to be understood as a place guarantee!
Students are required to read, present, and discuss academic articles and papers on covered topics. Some of these papers apply empirical methods. Students are not required to know these methods to accomplish this class, since the focus lies on the intuition and big picture of these papers. It helps, however, for some parts of the course if they are interested in learning how to interpret empirical findings.