Work, Class and the Global Economy


This module examines key economic and social processes from a critical sociological perspective.


The aims of this module are to facilitate critical student engagement with key socio- political themes linked to the development of the global economy through a focus on the complex interrelationships between contemporary labour processes, consumption, markets, financial systems and class struggles.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concepts of labour, class and global economy.

2.  Challenge and contest conventional hegemonic accounts of globalization and economic development.

3.  Trace out, compare and contrast the complex, inner connections between social and economic phenomena.

4.  Understand critically the human content, experience and social constitution of globalization and neoliberalism.

Indicative Content

1 Work

Work in classical and contemporary social theory, work or labour, the ontology of labour, abstract and concrete labour, intellectual and manual labour, the accumulation of labour and the degradation of women, unemployment and the refusal of work.

2 Class

The sociological approaches to class from Adam Smith to Max Weber; class and the stratification of British society; class as a critical concept; class, social constitution and the logic of separation.

3 Global Economy

Globalization and critical political economy, Fordism and Post-Fordism, the rise and fall of Keynesianism, Neo-liberalism, the politics of money and the expansion of credit, global capital and crisis.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Learning and teaching for this module will take place through a combination of lectures, collaborative tutorials, online discussion forums and independent study. Lectures introduce students to key module themes and incorporate a number of discussion and reflection intervals that require students to consolidate their learning within an interactive context. Tutorials involve directed-learning activities that require students to engage with directed tasks within a collaborative peer context, present findings and engage in constructive, critical discussion of key debates and perspectives. The module has been purposefully designed to integrate with the designated Abertay Attributes and provides an important means for students to consolidate, enhance and develop these attributes as part of their learning on the module. The intellectual dimension will be fostered by engagement with subject knowledge, directed independent learning tasks and the two-part module assessment. The professional dimension will be fostered by student exposure to the lecture themes developed across the module, directed tutorial tasks as well as collaborative engagement in class. The personal dimension will be fostered by in-class and online discussion and debate that elevates the importance of student-led, peer group learning and communication. Finally, the active citizen dimension will be fostered by ongoing encounters with module content that draws explicit attention to critical issues of work, inequality and globalization.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 68
Independent 96

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.