GV3JLD-Global Justice, Labour and Development

Module Provider:
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans

Email: s.lloyd-evans@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
«p»Recent debates around sweatshops and forced labour have refocused geographical attention on the injustices brought about by globalization that have led to escalating poverty, inequalities between the 'North' and the 'South’ and a global 'cheap labour economy'. This module provides an in-depth insight into contemporary academic and policy debates around labour and livelihoods in the global South from ‘social justice’ and 'development' perspectives.   Through a critique of globalisation, migration, civil society, gender and international governance, students will explore some of the most pressing ethical and justice debates on decent work today such as child labour, the ‘DIY’ or informal economy and modern day slavery.«/p»


This module aims to critically examine the impacts of globalisation, unequal development and poverty on workers and livelihoods in the global South from a social justice perspective. By drawing on interlinking discourses from geographies of development with more recent debates over social justice, the module focuses upon contested spaces of labour such as human trafficking, the informal sector, child labour and labour migration.  Students will also critique western concepts of work and ‘development’ in relation to contemporary social, political and economic processes that shape workers’ livelihoods in the global economy. By engendering an understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing workers, communities and families in making a fair and just living, the module will encourage students to question the roles played by a range of actors including global institutions, NGOs, businesses, consumers and new social movements in achieving the International Labour Organisation’s universal goal of ‘decent work for all’.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this Module it is expected that a student will be able to:

• Critically evaluate the ways in which current discourses of development and social justice can be used to understand global divisions of labour, with particular attention paid to evaluating contested spaces of work such as modern slavery and child labour.

• Identify and critically assess contemporary geographical understandings of the spatial and gendered divisions of labour within and between countries in the global North and South, and understand the different forms of work and employment undertaken by households in different geographical contexts.

• Explain and critically assess how globalisation impacts upon the livelihoods strategies of households and workers across space, in relation to both local and global development objectives, and the extent to which these processes are gendered.

• Identify and critically appraise a range of policy discourses and practices of a range of global institutions, businesses and NGOs that address current global concerns over worker exploitation, child labour and trafficking.

• Critically appraise western concepts of work and 'development' in relation to contemporary debates on social justice, global development, civil society, human rights, social responsibility and sustainable livelihoods and debate their impacts on communities in the global South.

• Assemble appropriate information and develop written arguments effectively and independently.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop their Information Technology and oral communication skills through their use of relevant web sources and databases, research, report preparation and contribution to group discussions and workshops. Seminars will include assistance with essay and exam preparation skills, debates, videos and group discussions. The assessed role-play workshop on ‘Child Labour’ helps develop students’ employability skills by introducing them to career opportunities within a range of organisations, encouraging them to interact with businesses or charities in order to gather research and data for the workshop, and the preparation of a corporate style presentation to the group. The module will include presentations from past students/guest lecturers who have work experience in development to present on their experiences of career development in this field.

Outline content:

Global Justice, Labour and Development is a 20-credit module that is taught through a series of lectures, student-led seminars, videos and discussions in the Spring Term. A. Introduction: Global Justice, Labour and Development in an Era of Global Change Week 1: Introduction to global justice, labour and development Week 2: Global labour markets, poverty and social justice B. Contested Spaces of Work and the Global South in the 21st Century Week 3: Spaces for children: child labour and work Week 4: The global trade in humans: new forms of slavery and trafficking Week 5: Coursework and Workshop Preparation Week 6: From sweatshops to the digital revolution: the New International Division of Labour, multinationals and social responsibility (Group Discussion) Week 7: Making a living in the urban informal sector C. Challenges for the Next Decade: Key Concepts, Debates and Policy Approaches Week 8: Gender, work and vulnerability Week 9: International agenda, civil society and social justice: theory and praxis (Guest Presenter and Career Prospects) Week 10: Doing development in practice: ILO Child Labour Workshop (group assessment)

Global context:

Students will be expected to take a global perspective to justice, labour and development debates and use literatures/policy examples from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This is a 20 credit module, which means that it is intended to occupy you for 200 hours of work: lectures, seminar preparation, videos, workshops, background reading, essay reading, writing, revision and sitting the examination. With that in mind the kind of workload you should expect might from this module will be as follows: · 30 Contact hours in formal teaching sessions to include a lecture and participatory seminar/debate each week · 30 hours engaged in reading and note taking from ‘essential reading lists’ for each week · 30 hours engaged in reading, preparation and writing your report/child labour presentation · 90 hours Background reading for lectures · 2 hour Revision class · 2 hour Coursework writing workshop/individual guidance - 24 hours Revision · 2 hour Examination (Summer Term)

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 4 2
Guided independent study 164
Total hours by term 198.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Report 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
The assessment for this module will incorporate the following:

1. A two-hour written exam during which candidates will be required to answer two of five questions (50% of module mark)
2. Assessed Coursework on Child Labour/Human Trafficking (50% of module mark) detailed as follows:
a. Students will be expected to contribute to a group role-playing exercise that focuses on the complex issue of child labour and produce a group presentation accounting (10% of module mark)
b. A 2500 word individual written briefing report critically evaluating an organisation’s approach to child labour or human trafficking in relation to wider academic and policy debates (40% of the module mark)

Formative assessment methods:
In order to provide students with some formative feedback on their written assignment, they will have the opportunity to submit a 2 page report plan in Week 7. Individual written feedback will be returned to students in Week 8. Please note that the plans are not formally assessed.

Students will also have the opportunity to request informal feedback on their child labour workshop roles and assignments in Weeks 6 to 8 through individual appointments with the Course Convenor.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students have the right to re-assessment in all elements of assessment, including a resit examination in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    There are no additional costs associated with this module.

    Last updated: 4 May 2017

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