Work occupies our best waking hours and the nature of our work is the most significant determinant of the quality of our daily lives. This course is designed to provide a selective introduction into key topics in employment. The central focus of this course is to understand the impact that the changing structure of labor markets and workplaces themselves, will have on the world of work. The course begins with a presentation of competing theoretical perspectives of work. After being presented with theoretical and conceptual perspectives of work, we will move towards discussing the effects that social locations, such as race, gender, and ethnicity, have on labor market participation and outcomes. Finally we will explore the impact of changes to the structure of the labor market such as corporate restructuring, outsourcing and the emergence of a new economy will have on the world of work and how we can use this knowledge to inform, and shape the policy process. After successful completion of this course, students will be able to give informed answers to such questions as: Why do we have increasing problems of low-wage work and poverty in a wealthy society? Can the U.S. really survive as a service economy? In what ways are women gaining equality in the workplace? What does the changing world economy mean for my future? And most importantly, what can I do to make the work of work a better place for myself and others?
Prerequisites:CORE-GP.1011 and CORE-GP.1018