Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology of Work

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for Labour Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit will enable participants to develop a wider appreciation of the importance and value of work in modern society, how this experience is in turn influenced by factors both at and beyond work itself, and how a person's social relationships at work are impacted upon by cultural, economic and technological factors.

The study-unit will also deal with the manner in which young people make their transition from the world of school to the world of work. Contemporary transitions have become more complex and less linear, given the implications of lifelong education and training, the nature of the skills demands in the modern economy, and the drying up of employment of opportunities for young people across Europe. Patterns and trends in the transition of Maltese youth to the world of work will be considered in comparison and contrast to those of young people in Europe.

Study-unit Outline:

a. Sociology of Work and Maltese Work Ethics:

- The Logic of Industrialism: Pre Industrial, Industrial and Post Industrial Society;
- Sociological Analysis of Work and Industry: The Classical Theories of Work and Social Stratification;
- Rationalisation of Work;
- Bureaucracy, Scientific Management. Fordism and Neo Fordism;
- Technology and the World of Work: Technological Determinism and the Deskilling Debate. Automation and Computerisation;
- Orientations to Work: The intrinsic and extrinsic values of work. Latent aspiration and job Satisfaction. The Work Ethic. The Bond between education and world of work. Work/Life Balance;
- Globalisation and the Knowledge Based Economy;
- Changes in work and employment relations.

(n.b. Gender Mainstreaming will be a cross cutting theme).

b. Critical perspectives on the transition to work:

- The significance of inter- and intra-school streaming to educational and career pathways;
- The value of a career education curriculum in making positive transition;
- The impact of early work experiences in the twilight economy of career pathways;
- The contribution of methodological individualism and the theories of Boudon to the notions of choice in making transitions to the world of work;
- Recent research findings on the transition of young people to the world of work;
- Linear versus non-linear models of transition to the world of work: the notion of 'yo-yo transitions'.

Required Text:

Sociology of work and Maltese work ethics:
- Grint, K. (1998) 'The Sociology of Work: Concepts and Cases' Cambridge. U.K. Polity Press., Or
- Watson , T.J. ( 2001) 'Sociology of Work and Industry' London and New York. Routledge (Third Edition).

Critical perspectives on the transition to work:
No standard text-book but a reading pack will be recommended.

Reading list:

Sociology of work and Maltese work ethics:

- Rose, M. (1985) ' Reworking the Work Ethic' London. Batsford. Academic and Educational
- Lewis, P. Thornhill, A. Saunders, M.( 2003) ' Employee Relations' Essex. Pearson Education
- Ritzer, G. (1996) 'The McDonaldization of Society' California. London. New Delhi. Sage Publications
- Gorz, A. (1999) ' Reclaiming Work' Cambridge. U.K. Polity Press
- Sultana, R.G. & Baldacchino, G.(eds) ( 1994). 'Maltese Society: A Sociological Enquiry'
- Baldacchino, G. Rizzo, S. Zammit, E.L. ( 1994) ' Cooperative Ways of Working' Malta. WPDC-FES
- Lloyd, A. (2013) ‘Labour Markets, and Identity on the Post Industrial Assembly Line’ Surrey: Ashgate.

Critical perspectives on the transition to work:

- Bynner, J. and K. Roberts, (Eds) (1991) Youth and Work: Transition to Employment in England and Germany. London: Anglo-German Foundation
- Chisolm, L. (1993) Youth transitions in Britain on the threshold of a New Europe. Journal of Educational Policy, 8, 29-42
- Rainbird, H., A. Jobert, C. Marry & L. Tanguy (Eds.)(1998), Education and Work in Britain, Germany and Italy. London:Routledge
- B. Galaway & D. Hudson (Eds.)(1996) Youth in transition to adulthood: research and policy implications (pp.23-31). Toronto: Thompson
- Furlong, A. (1992) Growing up in a classless society? School to work transitions. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
- Gatt, S. (2000) School-to-work transitions. Unpublished document commissioned by Employment and Training Corporation. Malta
- Gambetta, D. (1987) Were they pushed or did they Jump? Individual Decision Mechanisms in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Heinz W.R. (1996) The transition from education to employment in a comparative perspective. Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for International Studies
- Hodkinson, P., Sparkes, A. C., and Hodkinson, H. (1996) Triumphs and Tears: Young People, Markets and the Transition from School to Work. London: David Fulton
- OECD. 2000. From Initial Education to Working Life - Making transitions work. Paris: OECD
- Sultana, R. G. (2012) (2012) ‘Learning career management skills across Europe: a critical review.’ Journal of Education and Work, Vol.25(2), 225-248.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S David Parnis
Ronald Sultana

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.