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 – environmental catastrophes, rising inequality, economic crises – including rapid technological change and automation, 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
- The link between growth and employment
- Working time reduction and sustainability
- The imperial mode of living, 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.
- 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 via email, especially in cases of conflicting class schedules.
1. Questions on readings (20% of total grade)
2. In-class quizzes (20% of total grade)
3. Group presentation & handout (30% of total grade)
4. Class debate (20% of total grade)
5. Participation (10% of total grade)
Course enrollment is on "first-come, first-served" basis. 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 on the waiting list will be notified after the end of the enrollment period, and will be allocated to available places.
Students are required to read, present, and discuss academic articles and papers on issues on the topic of sustainability.
While no previous knowledge is assumed, an interest in the topic is important.