As well as lecture and tutorial hours, it is expected that this course will require around 11 hours per week study time. Plan this into your timetable!
The module focuses on three sociological problems applied to studies of work: The problem of order
The question of power
The issue of interpretation
These themes draw on problems encountered in everyday life through work experiences and also the problems in attempting to study these things, particularly the significance of different ‘ways of seeing’.
1. Online Tests
These are formative exercises based on the preparatory reading and lecture material, and should help give you an idea of how well you understand the material. They do not contribute towards your overall mark, but you must complete these tests. They will mostly be multiple choice.
2. Essay (50%)
You are required to write an essay of 2,000 words on one of the following topics:
Discuss Grint’s (2005:46) claim that ‘the world of work remains one that cannot be adequately explained by reference to market forces and economic rationality alone’. Illustrate your answer with reference to appropriate theory and contemporary events.
“[These] immigrants [are often seen as] either crafty competitors for jobs or…pitiful, hapless victims of ruthless employers” (Kim 2009:510). Discuss using a range of social theories to support your analysis.
Comparing the views of TWO theorists, critically analyse the claim that “employees suffer the effects of power but are not the bearers of power”. Illustrate your argument with suitable examples. Deadline:
November ESSAYS MUST REFERENCE SOURCES USING THE
Dr Laura Mitchell
3. Two Hour Exam (50%)
Date will be announced by the student registry
Students must attempt two questions from a
choice of four covering all areas of the
A practice paper will be available on the KLE
For the two hour exam, you will be expected to answer two questions from a choice of four. While the question choices will be on specific topics, you will be expected to demonstrate a critical appreciation of social theory at work, as outlined in the Intended Learning Outcomes. No books or notes will be allowed into the examination, this includes dictionaries.
This list comprises the minimum required reading for the course. Links to these readings and more detailed reading lists are available on the KLE, where you will also find questions to guide your reading preparation.
Weber, M (1905) “The Spirit of Capitalism and the Iron Cage”, in Lemert, C.(2010) Social Theory: The multicultural and classic readings [e-book] Westview Press: Boulder, CO. pp104-108 Burrell, G & Morgan, G (1992) Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis: elements of the sociology of corporate life. pp.1-20, Surrey,: Ashgate.
Kim, E. C. (2009). “‘Mama’s Family’: Fictive kinship and undocumented immigrant restaurant workers”, Ethnography, 10(4), 497-513
Marx, K (1844) “Estranged Labour”, in Lemert, C. (ibid) pp32-38 Durkheim, E (1893) “Mechanical and Organic Solidarity” & (1902) “Anomie & The Modern Division of Labour”, in Lemert, C. (ibid) pp73-78
Weber,M (1909-1920) ”The Bureaucratic Machine” & “The Types of Legitimate Domination” in Lemert, C. (ibid) pp108-114 & 116-119
Foucault, M (1976) “Power as Knowledge” in Lemert, C. (ibid) pp473-479 Brown, A. et al. (2010) ‘Invisible walls and silent hierarchies: A case study of power relations in an architecture firm', Human Relations, 63(4), 525 – 549.
Butler, J (1990) Gender Trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity, New York: Routledge [pp1-8] Leonard, P. (2003), ‘Playing’ doctors and nurses? Competing discourses of gender, power and identity in the British National Health Service. The Sociological Review, 51(2): 218–237. Myrdal, G (1944) “The Negro Problem as a Moral Issue” in Lemert, C. (ibid) pp249-251 Burdsey, D. (2004). 'One of the lads'? Dual ethnicity and assimilated ethnicities in the careers of British Asian professional footballers. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27(5), 757-779. Grint K & Woolgar S (1997) “Theories of Technology” in The Machine at Work Polity Press: Cambridge pp6-38
Jolivet, E., & Heiskanen, E. (2010) Blowing against the wind—An exploratory application of actor network theory to the analysis of local controversies and participation processes in wind energy. Energy Policy, 38(11), 6746–6754.
Ritzer, G (2001) “The McDonaldization of Society” in Explorations in Social Theory: from metatheorizing to rationalization [Chapter 10]
Bryman, A. (1999) “The Disneyization of Society” The Sociological Review, 47: 25–47.