Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE People at Work

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Social Policy and Social Work

DESCRIPTION People at Work provides an introduction to sociological perspectives on the world of people at work on both a macro and a micro level. The basic premise is that in every culture, there are hours in the day when people are formally required to be engaged in paid work. The study-unit will investigate how people and groups impact and are effected by the workplace. This includes how people manipulate the work environment, as well as how they are manipulated by it. Attention will also be directed to the nature of the individual and social relationships in work and organizational settings.

Study-unit Aims:

- To sharpen the ability to think critically about the world of work and organizations;
- To learn and apply some of the major intellectual traditions and approaches within the sociology of work;
- To become familiar with theories and research relevant to understanding human behavior in work and organizational settings;
- To understand the challenges created by a global and diverse workplace, and ways in which these challenges can be met;
- To appreciate the changing nature of the workplace through the implementation of various technologies.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Examine how work is a reflection of personal and societal development;
- Examine social trends and the relationship of such to broader tendencies in postmodern societies such as globalisation, privatisation and ‘commodification’;
- Understand ‘work’ from the point of view of the worker;
- Apply sociological themes such as socialization, social interaction, the social construction of time to different settings.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Apply social theories to problems of modern society;
- Define the world of people at work and explore different views;
- Analyse work settings and social change;
- Discuss the positive and negative consequences of modernization for society;
- Apply structural and macro perspectives to other areas.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Throughout the study-unit students will receive a number of readings for which they will be responsible. In particular, students will be expected to read some of the classical literature on the various topics, on which a great deal of current thinking rests. Students will also be expected to read the literature concerning Sociology of Work, people within organizations, Post-Modernity, Globalization, Work and Leisure.

- Keith Grint, The Sociology of Work, Blackwell Publishers (UK), 2005
- Harper, D. and H. Lawson The Cultural Study of Work. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students require basic study-unit in Sociology as a pre-requisite. Eligibility for the study-unit will be assessed by the Head of Department of Social Policy and Social Work.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Damian Spiteri

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 study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.